Can you get a retroactive, lump-sum SSD payment?

Jun 24 2015

There is no doubt that wading through Social Security Disability insurance benefits law, regulations, rules and forms can be a time-consuming, wearying process. USA Today does its bit to help people understand the process of applying for benefits and appealing SSD decisions with a column about Social Security disability and retirement.

Someone recently wrote in asking for advice on how to get a retroactive, lump-sum payment. She believes she is due the payment because the Social Security Administration neglected to pay her for time between the onset of her disability and the time she began receiving SSD benefits.

The USA Today columnist wrote that her question is a “tricky one.” Indeed. While some SSD (also known as SSDI) recipients can be entitled to a retroactive, lump-sum payment, those payments are restricted to a very specific time period that begins when you initially apply for benefits. In some cases, you can get benefits retroactive to the 12 months prior to that filing date.

But that’s all the Social Security Administration can and will pay you. So the woman who wrote to USA Today might get a retroactive payment for a year prior to the date she filed for SSD, but she will not get more than that.

An experienced Denver SSD attorney can field many more questions — tricky or not — about the disability benefits to which you might be entitled. You may well find out that you, too, are eligible for a retroactive, lump-sum payment. You can also ask a knowledgeable lawyer about how to appeal a denial of a claim and which health conditions make a person eligible for benefits.