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Understanding the disability onset date for SSD benefits

Living with a disability presents a whole host of physical, mental and financial challenges. For some individuals in Pennsylvania, obtaining Social Security disability benefits is the financial lifeline they need to make ends meet if they cannot work. However, the SSD application process can be daunting. It is important to understand all the factors that will be considered when it comes to awarding benefits.

One important part of the SSD application involves the applicant's disability onset date. This is the date where the individual ceased being able to work due to the person's disability. This date can affect the individual's eligibility for benefits, and if the individual qualifies for benefits, the person's benefit pay period. However, it is important to understand that benefits awarded are not retroactive; they start on the date the individual applied for benefits.

In general, when it comes to medical conditions of a non-traumatic origin, the Social Security Administration will look at several factors when determining an applicant's onset date. One factor is the allegations of the applicant. Another factor is the applicant's work history. In addition, the SSA may consider medical evidence. If an individual's medical condition is of a traumatic origin, and the individual will be unable to work for at least a year or will die due to the traumatic incident, then in some cases the individual's onset date will be the date that the traumatic event occurred.

The onset date of an individual's disability is only one factor that will be considered when it comes to determining the person's eligibility for benefits. The SSD application process is complex. It may be necessary to seek legal help, to ensure the application contains all the necessary information and is filed appropriately.

Source: FindLaw, "What is My Disability Onset Date?," Accessed Jan. 11, 2016

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Pennsylvania Bar Association Philadelphia Bar Co-Chair SSD Committee Philadelphia Bar Co-Chair SSD Committee