“Date of Entitlement” to Past-Due Benefits
When you meet with an attorney about your social security disability case, one of the first topics discussed is the date you are entitled to benefits, or “onset date.” This date determines when you will receive benefits if you are found disabled and meet all other requirements. The date will vary depending on the type of disability you are applying for. Please locate the type of disability you are applying for below to learn about your date of entitlement.
Title II, Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits (DIB) :
You are entitled to disability benefits before reaching full retirement age if: you have enough social security earnings to be insured for disability; you apply; you have a disability or had a disability that ended within a twelve month period before the month you applied, and you have been disabled for five full consecutive months. See 20 C.F.R. § 404.315(a). The date of entitlement establishes the date from which past due benefits will be paid. In Title II Disability Insurance cases, the date of entitlement is five full months after the date of onset (the date you are alleging you became disabled) or seventeen months before the month of application no matter how long you were disabled before then. No waiting period is required if you were previously entitled to disability benefits within five years of the month you again became disabled. See 20 C.F.R. § 404.315(a)(4).
The date of entitlement may also begin up to twelve months immediately before the month in which your application is filed. See 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.315(a)(4), 404.320(b)(4) and 404.621(a).
Title XVI, Supplement Security Income (SSI):
In Title XVI Supplemental Security Income cases, applications have an entitlement date of the first of the month after the date of application or the first of the month after all requirements are met (you are disabled and meet income and asset requirements), whichever is later.
Payments of SSI benefits begin the month after the month of initial eligibility and each month after as long as all requirements for eligibility and payment continue to be met. 20 C.F.R. § 416.501.
Disabled widow(er)’s benefits:
You may claim widow(er)’s benefits if you are indeed the insured’s widow(er), you have applied, you are at least sixty years old or at least fifty and have a disability, you are not entitled to old age benefits and you are unmarried. See 20 C.F.R. § 404.335. Benefits will begin with the first month covered by the application in which all other requirements for entitlement are met. See 20 C.F.R. § 404.337.