Baltimore Social Security Disability Lawyers: Choosing an Onset Date for DisabilityFebruary 29, 2016
When applying for Social Security disability benefits, one of the first questions you will be asked is “on which date did you become disabled.” While this question may seem straightforward, many people find themselves struggling to decide on the appropriate date to list on the application. This is especially true if the condition was not caused by a specific incident, such as a car accident, but rather developed gradually over a period of time. However, it is extremely important to choose this date wisely, as it can have a significant impact on the amount of money you receive. Choosing the wrong date can cost you thousands of dollars in back payments. It may even increase your chances of being denied benefits.
The Basics of Choosing Your Disability Onset Date
Applicants for Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) often wait a year or more before being approved. For this reason, it is important to apply as early as possible. Once approved, you are entitled to retroactive pay of up to 12 months prior to the date of your application. (This applies to SSDI only; recipients of SSI will only get back pay from the month they apply.) The amount of back pay you can receive depends largely on the date you became disabled. To get the full 12 months of SSDI back pay, you must be able to prove that you were disabled at least 17 months prior to applying for benefits. This is because the SSA does not pay for the first five months of your disability.
The alleged onset date, or AOD, is the date you claim that the symptoms of your condition became severe enough to prevent you from working. This should not be mistaken for the date of diagnosis, as a diagnosis alone does not always establish total disability. Many people suffer from disabling impairments for months or even years before being properly diagnosed. Conversely, some people diagnosed with degenerative diseases are able to work for an extended time before their condition finally forces them to stop working.
In order to qualify for SSDI benefits, you must be totally disabled. For this reason, it is generally advisable to choose an onset date that is after you stopped working. You will also need to provide medical evidence to support your claim. It may be helpful to tie your alleged onset date to a significant medical event such as a heart attack, stroke or hospitalization.
If the SSA disagrees with your alleged onset date, a claims agent may select another date they feel is more appropriate called the established onset date, or EOD. If this happens, you have to right to file an appeal. However, this should only be considered after talking to an experienced Social Security disability lawyer in Maryland, as it could put you at risk of having your approval reversed.
Maryland Social Security Disability Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Assist with SSDI and SSI Appeals
Baltimore Social Security disability lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton have helped countless people get the benefits they need while unable to work. Call 800-547-4LAW (4529) today to discuss your case for free with one of our seasoned Maryland disability lawyers or contact us online.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie and Towson, allowing us to assist those who have been denied Social Security benefits throughout Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Southern Maryland and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Parkville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood and Elkridge.