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Can I get disability benefits for the time before I applied?

It can take a long time for a person to be approved for Social Security disability benefits. Thankfully, if your application is eventually approved, you are often provided with benefits for the time period between when you initially applied for benefits and when your application was finally approved.

But what about the time leading up to when you applied? This is a question that many people have, especially because disabling injuries and conditions often exist for months or years before a person finally applies for benefits.

As the Social Security Administration explains on its website, it is possible to get disability benefits for up to 12 months before you apply for benefits if:

  • The SSA determines that you were disabled during that time; and
  • you meet all of the other requirements to qualify for benefits.

Since you can only collect up to 12 months’ worth of benefits from before you applied, it’s important to apply for benefits as soon as you think that you qualify to make sure that you get the full benefits that you deserve.

Note: For Social Security Disability Insurance, there is a five-month waiting period from the date that your disability officially began until you can start receiving benefit payments. The same wait period does not exist for Supplement Security Income.

If you need help applying for SSD benefits, or have questions about whether you qualify, it is wise to meet with an experienced Social Security Disability lawyer who can assess your situation and help you complete your application.

Time is really of the essence when it comes to obtaining the benefits that you need. The longer you put off applying for benefits, the greater the likelihood that you will lose out on money that you may be entitled to.

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