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How to Track My Disability Back Pay

how to track my disability back pay

If you have a disability and seek government assistance, it’s crucial to track your Disability Back Pay (DBP). The DBP is the total amount of back pay you’re owed from the Social Security Administration (SSA) when you were unable to work. This article will walk you through how to track your Disability Back Pay (DBP) and what steps to take if there are any problems with your claim. 

How does disability work?

Social Security disability insurance (SSDI or SSD) is an insurance program that provides financial assistance to individuals unable to work due to an injury or illness before they reach retirement age. 

The exact benefits and eligibility requirements vary from state to state, but typically, the insurer will provide a set percentage of the insured’s pre-disability income. In some cases, the insurer may also cover the cost of medical treatment and rehabilitation. Disability insurance can be purchased as an individual policy or as part of a group plan, such as an employer-sponsored insurance plan. 

What qualifies for short-term disability?

Short-term disability is insurance that provides compensation for missed work due to a covered illness or injury. Usually, the employer pays for the coverage either in full or in part. The specifics of what qualifies as a short-term disability vary by policy, but generally, the illness or injury must prevent the policyholder from performing the essential functions of their job. Some policies also have a waiting period before benefits kick in, and most have a benefit limit of 26 weeks. While short-term disability policies can provide much-needed financial support during tough times, it’s important to understand the limitations of these policies before you purchase one. Otherwise, you might find yourself unexpectedly without coverage when you need it most. 

This coverage is similar to workers’ compensation but has different applications. Workers’ compensation provides coverage when the illness or injury occurred at work or due to workplace activities. In contrast, short-term disability provides coverage even when the employee injures themselves outside of the workplace. Generally, you cannot qualify for both workers’ compensation and short-term disability for the same incident at the same time.

What medical conditions qualify for long-term disability?

Long-term disability insurance is a type of insurance policy providing financial assistance to individuals who cannot work for a long period of time. You can qualify for it if you:

  • Currently pay for a long-term disability plan
  • File a claim for long-term disability with your current insurance
  • Have a medical condition that qualifies as a disability under your insurance policy

Some medical conditions that can qualify for long-term disability benefits include: 

  • Cancer
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Fibromyalgia 
  • Lupus
  • Multiple sclerosis (MS) 

This list isn’t exhaustive and qualifying conditions vary depending on your insurance policy.

How to File for Disability

You can apply for disability benefits online, or if you don’t have access to the internet, you can apply by calling the Social Security Administration’s toll-free number, 1(800) 772-1213. 

You’ll need to provide information about yourself and your family members to apply. This includes information like:

  • Your Social Security Number (SSN) 
  • Names, addresses, phone numbers of any medical practitioner or facility that took care of you
  • Laboratory and test results
  • Work summary of where you worked and the line of work you were in
  • Your most recent W-2 form or a federal tax return

For more information, visit the Social Security Administration’s website.

How to Track My Disability Back Pay


The Social Security Administration (SSA) offers a variety of programs to help those with disabilities, including Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). If you are approved for benefits, you may be entitled to disability back pay, past-due benefits, or the number of benefits you would have received had your application been approved immediately. Back pay can be paid in a lump sum or in installments, and it is important to keep track of your payments so that you can budget accordingly. 

Still confused on how back pay works? It’s like this. Pretend your rheumatoid arthritis prevented you from completing your daily tasks at work in January. However, you applied for Social Security Disability Insurance in February, but your claim was denied. Then, you appeal, and an ALJ (administrative law judge) ruled in your favor, determining that your disability did begin in January. However, it’s now December, and you haven’t received a paycheck in nearly a year. So, you’re entitled to back pay. By law, SSDI benefits have a five-month waiting period, so you’re entitled to 10 months of back pay.  

You can also receive back pay for delays in applying for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). 

There are a few different ways to track your disability back pay. First, you can create a simple spreadsheet with the date of each payment and the amount received. This will help you keep an accurate record of your payments and ensure that you do not miss any payments. You can also set up a bank account specifically for your disability back pay, which will help you keep track of the money you receive. Finally, you can ask the Social Security Administration for a statement of your back pay every six months. This statement will provide detailed information about your pay.

What is the disability back pay maximum?

SSD benefits can be received back to the year before the application date, which means you can receive a maximum of 12 months of back pay. There is no limit to the amount you can receive. 

Can you work on disability?

If you are receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, you may be wondering if you can still work. The good news is that the Social Security Administration (SSA) allows recipients to try working for up to nine months within a five-year period through a Trial Work Period (TWP). During the TWP, you can earn any amount and still receive your full SSDI benefits. This period is designed to give you a chance to see if your health has improved enough that you can return to work regularly. If you go back to work full-time after the TWP, your SSDI benefits will stop. However, you may still be eligible for Medicare coverage for up to 29 months. 

After your TWP ends, you’re eligible for a three-year Extended Period of Eligibility (EPE). This allows you to work and receive SSDI benefits for your earnings at or below the Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) level every month. Also, for the first five years after your benefits end, with Expedited Reinstatement (EXR), if your earned income drops below the SGA level, you can get back on SSDI benefits without having to reapply. 

Frequently Asked Questions About How to Track Disability Back Pay


Can you collect social security and disability?

Generally, no, you cannot collect both social security and disability. You may qualify for the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) if you meet the financial criteria. 

How do I know if my disability is approved?

Through the Social Security Administration website, you can check the status of your application online using your personal my Social Security account, or you can call the SSA directly at 1 (800)772-1213.

How to get SSI back pay faster?

Unfortunately, there’s no way to get your backpay faster. Under certain circumstances, you can get some of your pay faster by contacting the Social Security Administration (SSA) and asking them to release the funds to you sooner.

How long does it take to receive disability benefits after being approved?

There is a five-month waiting period after you’re approved for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. The waiting period begins with the date that your disability began. For example, if you became disabled on June 1, 2018, your waiting period would begin on that date. Your first benefit would be paid for November 2018. If you have a disability that is expected to last at least one year or result in death, you may qualify for SSDI benefits.

How to check your social security benefits 

You can check your social security benefits using your mySocialSecurity account. Once you have an account, you can check your benefits and application status, estimate future benefits, or manage your benefits. 


If you have been approved for disability benefits, it is important to track your back pay. This will ensure that you are paid the correct amount of money for when you were out of work. The Social Security Administration has a process in place to help beneficiaries track their back pay. You can also use a third-party service to help you keep track of your payments. By following these steps, you can be sure that you receive all the money that you are owed.


This article contains general legal information but does not constitute professional legal advice for your particular situation. The Law Dictionary is not a law firm, and this page does not create an attorney-client or legal adviser relationship. If you have specific questions, please consult a qualified attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.

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