Social Security Attorney

Onset Dates — Social Security Attorney

As you prepare to file for Social Security disability, it is important for you to choose the correct onset for your disability.  Your alleged onset date is the date that you claim you could no longer work because of your disability.  There are several important factors to consider when choosing this date, so please contact a Social Security attorney with our Nampa or Boise office for a free case evaluation and to discuss what an appropriate onset date for you would be.

Your onset date you choose is very important.  Among other things, it will determine how much back pay or past due benefits you will receive. If you are applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), you want your onset date to be back as far as possible because you can get paid back benefits up to twelve months. The ideal period is seventeen months, because there is a five month waiting period after you become disabled where you cannot receive benefits. If you are approved for SSI you can only get paid benefits from the month you apply.

As a general rule, the farther back your onset date is, the more back benefits you receive. However, it is not always in your benefit to push back your onset date. In some cases, mostly with younger workers, an earlier onset date can actually decrease monthly benefits. This would happen if you were a young worker whose earnings after the earlier onset date were relatively high compared to your earnings in prior years. And, as your disability attorney will tell you, if you go further back than your medical records support, you can also loose credibility.

Social Security Attorney

Social Security Attorney

Another thing to keep in mind is that Social Security might not always agree with your onset date.  An onset date that you set is called the alleged onset date, or AOD. An onset date that the Social Security administration determines is called an established onset date, or an EOD. If Social Security disagrees with the onset date you have provided, then they will establish an EOD. To do this, they must have medical evidence that contradicts your AOD.

If the Social Security administration does change your onset date, it will probably cause you to lose some back benefits that you would have otherwise received. If this happens, your disability attorney can appeal the decision by asking the DDS (disability determination services) to reconsider the EOD. Be careful, though. If you appeal the decision, the DDS or the Social Security administration can always decide that your onset date was sooner than even the EOD, costing you more money. It’s a good idea to consult a Social Security disability attorney before appealing.  The EOD and AOD are not always different. If your claim is approved, then the AOD becomes the EOD.

Your onset date is often the date you last worked, but that doesn’t mean you have to set the onset date the day you lost your job. Your last job might not have been substantial gainful activity, or it could have been an unsuccessful work attempt. In either case, your onset date might be earlier than you think. In most cases, you will need to show that any work done after your onset date was not substantial work activity or gainful work activity, it was done under special conditions, it was subsidized, or that it was an unsuccessful work attempt.

Work that lasted no longer than sixth months and that you were forced to stop because of your disability may qualify as an unsuccessful work attempt. You can have more than one unsuccessful work attempt after your onset date, and earnings will not be considered when the Social Security administration is deciding whether or not your work is substantial gainful activity or not. If you don’t know whether your last job was an unsuccessful work attempt or if you have gone over the substantial gainful activity limit, you can talk to a Social Security attorney in our Nampa or Boise office. You need to be careful when setting your onset date. You want it to be as far back as possible, but you don’t want to place it incorrectly either.

If you have questions about onset dates, unsuccessful work attempts or substantial gainful activity, you can contact a Social Security attorney with our Nampa or Boise office. They can help you make all the right decisions when it comes to your Social Security disability claim.

Originally posted 2014-10-06 19:31:37.