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Monthly Social Security Disability Benefits: How Are They Calculated When Application Is Subsequent To Date Last Insured

Austin, TX |

I know if a claimant applies for SSDI/SSI after their DLI has expired, they may still be eligible for benefits as long as they can medically prove their disability reached a qualifying level before their DLI. Considering my current claim status, I have been declared disabled. The only relevant issue now is determining my alleged onset date. I suffer from what is called a "progressive disease" while meeting listing 14.09C1. I'm curious to know the process of how my AOD will be determined and how far in the past will my AOD affect my monthly benefit amount. I last worked Sept. 2001; received LATE diagnosis Oct. 2003; DLI Dec. 2006; applied Dec. 2009. My treating doctors have provided MSS/RFC stating my impairment met the listing as far back as 2000 based upon the pathology of my disease.

I know my maximum back pay would begin 1 year before my application date plus the additional 5 month period (roughly July 2008). What calculation is used to determine my monthly benefit amount based upon my established onset date? Even though I could only receive back payments beginning July 2008, would my monthly benefit amount increase if I could establish my onset date back to 2001? My annual Social Security statement estimates what my disability benefits would be if I were to become disabled per given year. Each subsequent year after I stopped working (2001), that monthly amount decreases. This leads me to believe the earlier I can set my onset date, the larger my monthly benefits would become. Is this how monthly benefits are calculated given my scenario dates? I have medical records all the way back to 1989 showing the disease progression.

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Attorney answers 4

Posted

Good morning, and Happy New Year.

It could, yes, if a zero year of earning is then NOT counted in the calculation of your benefit amount. Don't ask me what the formula is - I am not a bean counter, but the links noted below may help you. But as I understand it, the more years you can get counted as officially disabled that were low or zero income years, the better, because otherwise they can seriously bring down that "average lifetime monthly income" amount, upon which our benefit is based. If you can access these links, they may be helpful to you.

http://assets.aarp.org/rgcenter/econ/fs59r_ssbenefit.pdf

http://www.ssa.gov/oact/cola/Benefits.html

Asker

Posted

Thank you for replying. I read the link producing the AARP article and the mathematical calculations made more sense. This was the first time I saw a working example of how they make the calculations. I also downloaded the SSA Benefits Calculator and plugged in a few different dates (entitlement and onset dates) and saw how those dates affected the final calculation (monthly amount). It made perfect sense to me that if a zero-year's earnings were part of the calculation, then my monthly average would decrease. According to the SSA calculator, they don't actually use every year of earnings as part of the calculation - this was were my earlier calculations weren't making sense. The results of this calculator and my annual Social Security statements (where they estimate your disability benefits if you were to become disabled that year) are pretty close - within $20. I just wanted to make sure that I wasn't possibly decreasing my monthly average by trying for an earlier onset date. Thanks again.

Stephanie O Joy

Stephanie O Joy

Posted

You are welcome. Have a great new year.

Posted

As you mentioned above you must be found disabled before your date last insured. If you are found disabled disability insurance payments can start 12 months prior to your application date. SSI payments do not begin until the month after you applied. If you have not already been approved I encourage you to contact a lawyer. I have seen cases where claimants meet listings and are still denied. Best of luck to you!

Asker

Posted

I think you misunderstood my question. I was inquiring about how the AOD/EOD/POD affects the calculation of the monthly benefits amount. Even if I receive back pay as far as 12 months before my application date, wouldn't an earlier onset date cause an increase in my average monthly benefits?

Posted

You're really asking about your AIME. Here's a primer.

http://www.disabilitysecrets.com/how-much-in-ssd.html

You appear to be well educated on your disability, but you clearly refuse to get an attorney. I strongly encourage you to reconsider. It's more likely than not that you're going to get yourself educated on the Internet just enough to convince yourself you know what you're doing. Then you may lose your case because you didn't know how to properly cross examine the vocational expert, or were not aware of how the ALJ would evaluate your medical records.

Regardless, I wish you the best of luck in your case.

Asker

Posted

I don't know where you clearly believe I am refusing to get an attorney. I'm actually on my second one who has proven to be no better than the first. All you attorneys on here (Avvo) somehow believe that each of you (as a profession) are of the utmost integrity and helpfulness. BOTH my attorneys have proven to be the total opposite. That is the reason I have to resort to forums like this where I am constantly told to get an attorney (yet I don't have the character space to explain why my attorneys have both failed me). I am way too far along in this process to look for a third attorney (over 4 years now including 2 AC remands - haven't even been to Federal court and my claim is over 4 years old). Neither of my attorneys are specialized in disability law, and my claim is not the norm. As many Federal appeal cases I have read, there are barely a handful that even come close to my impairment and each of them have had less trouble than I have (and I have exacting language medical records that points to a listing). My claim has been made complicated by a series of incompetent case workers, a ALJ who blatantly ignored AC remand instructions, and now 2 attorneys who aren't listening to me or my doctors. My disease is not mainstream, and NO ONE in the system seems to know a thing about it. So maybe stop judging what you think you know about a claimant. I'm not here to explain WHY I am here, just trying to do for myself what 2 attorneys apparently have no desire to do themselves. My current lawyer is probably sitting in his chair just waiting to take a big bite of my possible 5 years of back pay while I'm doing all the work.

Asker

Posted

By the way, I've already read the link you sent (probably 2 years ago). I, too, know how to Google. I thought I might ask for some inside help on this matter.

Posted

I agree with fellow Georgia lawyer's previous post here that you should seek legal counsel if you have not done so already. You've clearly done significant research on the issues in your claim, and while benefits are generally not paid more than 12 months prior to your application dare, anytime I have a client whose DLI has passed prior to application, I anticipate that their claim will be significantly more difficult and that the risk of an adverse decision could ultimately bar them from filing a subsequent application. For these reasons, and given the complexity and specificity of your question, I'd recommend you contact any of the experienced disability lawyers here who have answered your post and seek their assistance before you proceed further.

Timothy M. Klob
Klob Law Firm
770-554-8100

Provision of information in response to this question does not create an attorney-client relationship and the questioner is encouraged to seek and retain legal counsel in order to discuss their question(s) further and directly with legal counsel. Respondent is licensed to practice law in Georgia before all Georgia courts for non-Federal matters with a primary focus on personal injury and workers' compensation. Respondent is also authorized by the Social Security Administration to represent claimants nationwide in Social Security Disability claims, and is admitted to practice before the United States District Courts for the Northern Districts of Georgia and Texas, respectively, for federal matters including judicial review of Social Security matters. The questioner is advised that some responses on this site are provided by attorneys who are not licensed in the respective jurisdiction of the questioner, and any advice from attorneys on this site concerning state-specific areas such as workers' compensation by attorneys who are not licensed in the applicable and appropriate jurisdiction should be viewed as for general educational purposes and should generally be given lesser weight than responses by attorneys licensed in the governing jurisdiction. Response to this question further assumes that the questioner is not currently represented by counsel, and if this is not the case, then it is recommended that any further questions or concerns be directed to their current legal counsel.

Asker

Posted

Thanks for replying. Yes, I do have a representative (at least on paper), but he (along with my first representative) have proven to be very inept at their jobs. Apparently both of them accepted my claim because they believed it was an easy win (which it should have been), but they both failed to properly review the details of my situation. Even though I applied after my DLI, everything written about progressive diseases (which is what I have) is on my side. SSR 83-20 is a prime example of what my claim is all about. Because of the post DLI application, my AOD is one of the most important pieces to my claim. Again, neither representative seem to understand this aspect, and I have been forced to educate myself about this whole process; the applicable rules/regulations, POMS, Hallex, SSR's, etc. I have read over 160 Federal Appeals (many involving my exact impairment), and everything I have read points to my claims of not being treated fairly, justly, and with any sort of proper representation. I have everything I could possibly need, except a representative who knows what is going on. I have accomplished more on my own than my first representative was able to produce, and I have had to literally point to, print out, and note the disability rules and regulations for my current representative in order to educate him on the rules that are set in place to my advantage. My second ALJ hearing lasted 14 minutes, and 11 minutes was from a deaf, 78 year old ME (who was allowed to testify over the phone with no notice), and my representative did nothing to argue my claim. I really just wish I could meet with an actual experienced disability representative and show him/her my claim in its entirety. So far, I've only met representatives (and they don't even specialize in disability law) who are simply out for the quick win.

Timothy Minthorn Klob

Timothy Minthorn Klob

Posted

Thank you for your kind words and for your reasoned response. I'm pleased to see that you have representation, even though it appears you may be facing a breakdown in communication, but Georgia Bar Rules require that once I am aware or have reason to be aware that an individual is represented, I am prohibited from further communication or from discussing substantive issues or concerns related to a matter. As a matter of professional courtesy to fellow attorneys and representatives, however, I do encourage individuals in situations such as yours to attempt to resolve any communication issues or concerns directly with their current representative, because attorneys (myself included) can't resolve a breakdown in communication with a client without being fully aware of the clients' concerns. Based on the extensive research you've done on your claim, I am confident that your efforts will put your current representative in the best position to ultimately prevail, and I wish you the absolute best both with your claim and in your ongoing effort to regain your health. Timothy M. Klob Klob Law Firm

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