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Disability onset date: what it is and why it's important

For the person living with a disability or serious injury that forever changes their life, the moment that the disability or injury left them unable to work is crystal clear to them. They will never forget it. But how you personally feel about your disability and the moment it started affecting you may not align with how the Social Security Administration views your disability or injury. In fact, these dates are often quite different.

We are referencing the "disability onset date," a crucial piece of information that is determined by the Social Security Administration when they review your application for Social Security Disability Insurance. It is the date, as determined by the SSA, when you became unable to work as a result of your disability or injury. The SSA then uses the date to determine your eligibility and your payment period.

If your disability onset date is further along tan you anticipated, it could actually impact your eligibility for SSDI benefits altogether. Your payments will not be made retroactively either, so anything before the disability onset date is not covered.

To determine your disability onset date, you should supply the SSA with a wealth of information, including any relevant medical records or evidence, your own personal claims, your work history, and any claims or statements made by medical professionals that worked with you. Collecting and delivering this evidence in your application to the SSA will go a long way in helping them determine your disability onset date.

Source: FindLaw, "What is My Disability Onset Date?," Accessed Sept. 11, 2017

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