Is There a Maximum Amount of Back Due Benefits I Can Receive in SSDI Cases?
The short answer is no. Social Security has never established a maximum for the disability benefit back pay amount. The way that your back due benefits are calculated consider four different factors.
One factor is your date of filing. If you have not been able to perform substantial gainful activity for seventeen months or more prior to your date of filing, you may be entitled to twelve months of retroactive disability benefits (remember the Social Security Administration holds the first five months of benefits owed), as long as your medical evidence proves that you were disabled at that time.
The second factor is your established date of onset. The onset is the date that the Social Security Administration (SSA) determines you were not working at a substantial level and that your medical evidence supports a finding of total disability.
The third factor is that aforementioned five-month wait period. All beneficiaries of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits have a five-month waiting period that begins the month following the date of onset unless the date of onset is the first day of the month. Therefore, the fourth factor is the month of entitlement, does not start until the sixth month of your disability, as determined by SSA.
Disability back payments are minimal if SSA approves your claim relatively quickly. However, if you have to go before an Administrative Law Judge, your back due benefits can become significant. Because of the current backlog of cases with hearing offices, Social Security is currently paying back payments that awarded after months of waiting and therefore, amount to thousands of dollars.