Because the Social Security disability application process can take months, the Social Security Administration awards successful applicants back payments that they would have received in the months between the date an application for benefits was filed and a final determination is made. In addition to back payments, Social Security Disability (but not Supplemental Security Income) recipients can receive retroactive payments going back one (1) year from their application date if they were disabled during that time. However, the Social Security Administration strikes five (5) months off of a successful applicant’s established disability onset date when calculating retroactive payments, so an applicant would actually have to have been disabled for seventeen (17) months prior to applying in order to receive the full twelve (12) months of benefits.
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