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Social Security Disability Onset Date Variations: (AOD, POD, EOD)

Atlanta, GA |

When I applied for SSDI/SSI in Dec. 2009, the FO agent mistakenly entered my AOD as Nov. 2009. This date was simply my protective filing date. I submitted an AOD of Sept. 2001 because that was my last day of SGA. On some of my SSDI documents she noted my onset date as Nov. 2009, other documents as Sept. 2001. She even noted my POD and EOD as Sept. 2001. These conflicting dates have never been corrected even after 4 years. The AC remanded my claim twice with instructions to correct my AOD (this never happened). I will soon appear at my 3rd ALJ hearing. They have already deemed me disabled, but as of a much later date because of this ongoing onset date issue. Neither of my representatives (first one withdrew) seem to understand the importance of a proper onset date, so I'm asking here.

I have a progressive disease meeting listing 14.09C1. I have progress notes from 1989 documenting the progression of my spine fusion, etc. I have 2 fully favorable RFC’s from my treating doctors who opined my condition has been disabling since 2001. I have 3 MSS from my Rheumatologist explaining the severe and advanced nature of my disease. I believe my impairment is one of those that no one knows about, so no one is giving me the proper evaluation. Since the FO agent went so far as to “establish” my onset date as Sept. 2001, shouldn’t that trump all the other incorrectly written onset dates? For 4 years my claim has been incorrectly evaluated with an onset date of Nov. 2009. Once an onset date is “established”, how can the ALJ continue to use the other incorrect onset dates to my disadvantage? With a DLI of Dec. 2006, I would think there would be enough red flags to have kept this from happening.

Attorney Answers 3

Posted

I agree with Attorney Dugan that your focus at this point must be to get the ALJ on remand to apply the correct onset date, or at least an amended onset date within the insured period. Based on the facts you've presented and if my understanding is correct that your DLI ran in 2006 and you applied in 2009, whether your onset date is deemed to be 2001 when you last were at SGA or at any later date prior to your DLI will not materially impact the amount of back benefits at issue so long as you can establish eligibility within the insured period since SSA only allows back benefits up ton12 months prior to the application date. If the AC has remanded your case with specific instructions to amend the onset date to a date within the insured period, then it may be possible to request an on the record decision prior to hearing and without the need for another hearing.

Your fact pattern mentions that your first representative withdrew. While the above answer is provided solely for educational purposes within the guidelines for this forum, it is also provided on the assumption that you are not currently represented. If you are currently represented, however, then it is imperative that you discuss these concerns directly with your representative to assist them in further preparation of your claim, and the only specific advice (beyond the generalized answer to your question above) I can provide is to redirect all further questions to your current representative. If you are not currently represented, then you are encouraged to obtain representation as soon as possible, both to obtain assistance with preparing and submitting an OTR and also to ensure you are represented at your impending hearing.

You've clearly done a great deal of research and are focused on the correct issues. Don't give up. I wish you the absolute best, both with your health and with the ultimate outcome of your claim.

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.

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Asker

Posted

"... whether your onset date is deemed to be 2001 when you last were at SGA or at any later date prior to your DLI will not materially impact the amount of back benefits..." Thanks for replying, but I continue to wonder why some lawyers don't understand just how relevant a proper onset date actually does affect back pay; it affects the PIA which in turn affects the amount of monthly benefits. Check https://secure.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/links/0425501300 (item number 1). This single article seems to sum it all up in a few bullet points. It's amazing (and a little scary) how many lawyers either don't think this deep into the minutia of rules and regulations or they are misreading my concerns. I believe I mentioned above that I am currently represented, but because he has failed me during the second hearing because of his lack of arguments, I don't believe he understands what is going on below the surface. Since he is my second representative, I'm certainly not going to drop him and look for a third - not this late in the game - I would almost bet money no representative would even look at my details at this point. This is why I have been forced to learn much of what encompasses disability law except I dig deep into every little aspect of the relevant rules and regulations. My current representative failed to argue issues I would think a first year law degree would have argued, so I resort to online pointers.

Timothy Minthorn Klob

Timothy Minthorn Klob

Posted

Your concerns about PIA are valid, but are only relevant if you are able to establish an onset date within your DLI. Since you've confirmed that you are represented, however, I'm prohibited from offering further guidance, other than to stress how essential it is that you raise these concerns directly with your representative. It sounds like you have a worthy claim, and I wish you the absolute best with your upcoming hearing.

Asker

Posted

Thank you for the wishes, and I understand your caution with assisting an already represented claimant. The fact you agree my concerns are valid helps me most of all.

Posted

What was written when you filed really does not matter now since the case is remanded for a new hearing. What is important is that you establish disability at least the day before your DLI. That should be your focus.

The information you obtain from this website is not legal advice.

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Posted

I thought I wrote this, but the two AC remands came with instructions for the ALJ to correct my onset date. The first remand specifically noted that my first representative "did" correct the ALJ about my onset date when he mentioned Nov. 2009. My "then" representative said, "we've been alleging Sept. 2001 the whole time", then the ALJ looked over a few documents then said, "Oh! OK", but when he wrote his denial, he used the incorrect onset date of Nov. 2009 several times as part of his findings of fact. That representative tucked his tail and withdrew, and I submitted my own request for review and received my first remand with the AC noting how the ALJ agreed to the onset date of Sept. 2001 - yet my AOD was STILL never changed/corrected. I don't think you understand the added importance of not just establishing my disability BEFORE my DLI, but also because it severely affects my PIA. I stopped working in 2001 because of my health. The following zero-based income years negatively affect my PIA. I would lose a great deal in back pay plus decrease my average monthly benefits plus lose many years of retroactive Medicare reimbursement between an onset date of Sept. 2001 versus Dec. 2006. Everything I have points to 2001 except those few documents where the FO agent incorrectly wrote Nov. 2009 as my onset date. My question regards the fact the AC instructed the ALJ twice to correct my onset date, and the fact at one point the agent actually correctly entered my onset date as Sept. 2001 - how can there be this much incompetence spanning over 4 years as my claim came across at least 6 people? Maybe there is something about progressive diseases that representatives don't put into the calculation of anything, but there is a lot at stake here just because of a single person making what appears to be a simply clerical error that left alone has festered into a massive issue.

Asker

Posted

I forgot to add that the second and recent AC remand is strictly to "clarify my onset date". They have already stipulated to my disability, so now it's a matter of "when".

D K Kevin Dugan

D K Kevin Dugan

Posted

Well good luck with the next hearing.

Dianna Cannon

Dianna Cannon

Posted

Your SSD back pay can only go back one year prior to the day that you applied, as long as you weren't working. Establishing an onset date prior to the DLI is crucial or you will not receive SSD benefits. Based upon the fact that you filed your application in 2009, the furthest back you would ever receive SSD benefits, if you win and prove you were disabled prior to the DLI, is one year - December 2008.

Asker

Posted

Thank you for replying Ms. Cannon, but my post was about all the references to my conflicting onset date and how my claim was never properly evaluated at any level based upon those errors. Even considering potential back pay from Dec. 2008, the onset date also plays a critical role in determining the average of my monthly benefits. I'm more concerned about finding out why and how these types of errors can remain unchanged for over 4 years (and be the sole reason for each denial). The AC even remanded my claim twice for the sole reason to correct my onset date (and they even once instructed the ALJ to use my alleged onset date of Sept. 2001). Whether or not the ALJ agrees with my AOD, he is required to begin the evaluation based off of my AOD (and then adjust/suggest an amended onset date according to his interpretation of my medical records). I'm saying at NO point was my claim EVER considered with an onset date of Sept. 2001, so up until my 3rd ALJ hearing, 8 years of medical evidence were never considered. My gripe is the apparent flaws in the way my claim was evaluated, and here I am over 4 years later dealing with the same issues as on day 1.

Posted

Need to establish disability

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