Overview of Alleged Onset Date for Purposes of SSDI
When you apply for benefits under the federal Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program, one piece of information you must supply is your “Alleged Onset Date” (AOD) – which is the date you assert your disability began. If the Social Security Administration (SSA) eventually approves your application, you may qualify to receive retroactive payments going back as far as your AOD. The details will depend upon your specific circumstances, so it’s important to get advice from a knowledgeable Maryland Social Security disability attorney regarding such issues. However, some answers to common questions about AOD may be informative.
Why does my AOD matter? The date is important because it determines how much back pay you can receive as SSDI benefits. When your application is approved, you’ll start receiving payments going forward, at least until your disabling medical condition ceases and you go back to work. AOD refers to the benefits that you can obtain going back as far as 12 months from the date you submit your application, assuming that you were disabled at that point.
For instance, you apply for SSDI on 06.01.2019 and state that your AOD was 03.01.2019. If SSA agrees with your assertion regarding your AOD, you can receive back pay for the three months prior to applying for SSDI benefits.
How can the SSA change my AOD? The term “alleged” is key, as it’s your contention of when your illness or injury prevented you from working. It’s possible that SSA will disagree with your AOD after reviewing the medical records, work history, and other documentation that you provide in your application. If so, SSA can change your AOD to an “Established Onset Date” (EOD). When EOD is later in time than your AOD, you’ll receive fewer months of back pay.
The only was SSA can make this change is if the claims examiner finds medical evidence that contradicts your AOD and proves your EOD.
What can I do if the SSA implements an EOD? If you disagree with SSA’s decision to change your AOD, and you lose back pay, you can appeal the EOD. However, you should note that SSA may review the entire contents of your application when looking at your AOD versus EOD. The agency could reverse your approval entirely and you’re back at the beginning to prove that you’re entitled to SSDI benefits.
Do I need a lawyer to help with my AOD? Because of the potential that approval for SSDI benefits could be withdrawn, it’s wise to work with an experienced attorney when you run into issues with your AOD. A lawyer can advise you on whether it’s worthwhile to contest SSA’s findings on your EOD, or simply move forward with the determinations that were already made.
Set Up a Consultation with a Maryland SSDI Lawyer Today
For more information on AOD and how it works under SSA regulations, please contact the Law Offices of Steinhardt, Siskind and Lieberman, LLC. We can schedule a free case evaluation at our Maryland offices in Glen Burnie, Owings Mills, Ellicott City, or Annapolis, MD.