How to Choose Your Disability Onset Date When Applying For Benefits


Posted by: Chris

You will need to provide a lot of information when applying for Social Security disability benefits. The Social Security Administration (SSA) will need to know everything about your condition, including the date that you became disabled. 

It’s important to choose your disability onset date wisely since this date can determine your eligibility for benefits and the amount of benefits you are awarded. However, it can be hard to determine when you became disabled if your condition slowly worsened over time. Here’s what you should know when choosing a disability onset date:

Choose A Date Supported By Evidence

It’s best to choose a date that is supported by the evidence you are submitting to the SSA. For example, if you’re not sure of your exact disability onset date, choose a date that is tied to a significant medical event. This could be the date you were initially diagnosed, treated, or admitted into a hospital. The SSA will carefully review your medical records, so tying your disability onset date to a major medical event can help them understand the seriousness of your condition.

Many applicants decide to choose a date that is supported by their work history. Because your disability has made it impossible for you to work, it makes sense to choose the date you were last employed. 

The key is choosing a date that makes sense based on your medical and employment records rather than simply choosing a date at random. 

What Happens if the SSA Disagrees With Your Disability Onset Date?

After reviewing your application, the SSA may decide that the disability onset date you chose is incorrect. For example, let’s say you chose an onset date of January 1, 2019, but the SSA cannot find medical evidence to support this selection. Instead, the SSA finds that you were initially diagnosed with the disabling condition on March 1, 2019. In this case, the SSA may decide to change your disability onset date to March 1, 2019.

This change may not seem significant, but it could reduce your back pay. Your new onset date is two months later, which means you could lose two months of backpay. If you disagree with the SSA’s decision, it is possible to appeal your new disability onset date with the help of an attorney. 

If you are unable to work due to a disability, seek legal representation from the attorneys at Armstrong & Vaught, P.L.C. We are committed to helping our clients fight for the disability benefits they deserve. Call us now at 918-582-2500, toll free at (800) 722-8880, or contact us online for a free consultation with a skilled attorney.