When you apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, your application will require you to answer a very important question: "When did your disability begin?" The answer you provide will become known as the alleged onset date (AOD), and that date will have a big impact on your benefits. Read on to learn more.
Why Is the AOD So Important?
You are entitled to be paid benefits from the day you become disabled, even if you wait several months before you apply. Additionally, the Social Security Administration (SSA) tends to take a long time to approve benefits, so that means you may have to wait several more months before you are able to be paid any money. The gap between the AOD is calculated and provided to you in a lump sum payment once you are approved. This money is known as back pay.
When the SSA Disagrees with Your AOD
The word "alleged" in the term AOD might have indicated to you that the date you provide may be only a preliminary number. As the SSA reviews your application, they will verify your AOD by reviewing medical records, doctors' notes, and test results. They will also pay close attention to the last day you worked at your job. For example, if you state that your AOD was March 1, 2018, and the SSA investigates your information, they may try to change your AOD to another date. This might result in a back pay award that is considerably reduced.
The Established Onset Date (EOD)
When the SSA disagrees with your AOD, they can change the date. The date your disability began will now be referred to as an established onset date. The SSA will only take this action if you present information that is contrary to their findings. In some cases, you may be mistaken about your last day of work. In other cases, you did more work after the AOD you stated. If you waited a long time to seek medical treatment for your condition, the SSA has no way of confirming that you were suffering from an affliction at the time you stated and will align the EOD with your first confirmed date of medical treatment. If you want to take advantage of your full back pay allowance, you must seek medical treatment before or very shortly after you stop working.
It should be mentioned that if the SSA agrees with your AOD, it automatically becomes the EOD. If you feel that the SSA has wrongly adjusted your AOD, speak to a Social Security attorney. You have the right to appeal the ruling, and this is your opportunity to present proof that your AOD is correct. Speak to a disability lawyer for help appealing an EOD.Share
12 February 2019
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