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On set date for Social Security Disability Benefits

Boise, ID |

I was granted disability benefits this past week, however I applied 8 years ago with the same mental health disability, medications, behavior ect. The ssi agent called me and told me that they are only going back 12 months, which is so wrong. I applied first in 2001 or 2002 and was denied every time until this past week. How do I go about appealing the examiners onset date and collect the money that is owed to me?

There was no judge or hearing involved. I appealed my case year after year and finally I won it myself with no attorneys help. Now I feel that the SSA is cheating me out of back pay which is owed to me from almost 10 years ago. In addition, what should I stress to the administration judge on my appeal form SSA-3341? any advise or help is grateful appreciated..

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Attorney answers 3


Unless your prior denials are formally "reopened," the onset date now found will control. Reopening is only allowed under certain limited circumstances, and will not be successful without strong evidence of the severity of your disability during prior time periods. Without reopening, the law is clear that the earliest onset date will be the day after your last denial on your last application. On the present application, the law allows only 12 months in retroactive benefits. When the 5-month "waiting period" is tacked on, the earliest relevant onset date for pay status is 17 months prior to the application date.

Best wishes for an outcome you can accept, and please remember to designate a best answer.

This answer is offered as a public service for general information only and may not be relied upon as legal advice.



I appealed each year I was denied. isn't that what you mean by reopening the case?



I thin because I had no attorney representing me is why they are going back only 12 months. could that be true and if so How do I hire an attorney to represent me on my appeal in this matter?

Paula Brown Sinclair

Paula Brown Sinclair


No the 12-month rule on retroactive payment limit is the same whether you are represented or not. Filing a new application is not a petition to reopen a previous denial. Having proceeded without the assistance of counsel may prove regrettable.


My colleague is correct, but I add one thing. On SSDI claims, no old application more than 4 years old can be reopened under any circumstance; on SSI it is only 2 years. So, by law, your old claims from 8 years cannot be reopened under any circumstance whatsoever.

so, it sounds like you have gotten the maximum benefits still available to you.

Best of luck - and congratulations.

The exact answers to questions like this require more information than presented. The answer(s) provided should be considered general information. The information provided by this is general advice, and is not legal advice. Viewing this information is not intended to create, and does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. It is intended to educate the reader and a more definite answer should be based on a consultation with a lawyer. You should not take any action that might affect your claim without first seeking the professional opinion of an attorney. You should consult an attorney who can can ask all the appropriate questions and give legal advice based on the exact facts of your situation. The general information provided here does not create an attorney-client relationship.


Attorney Sinclair and Attorney Farrell are correct in their very fine answers.

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Andrew W. Norfleet, Esquire Helping disabled individuals throughout Pennsylvania. DISCLAIMER: This post is intended as general information applicable only to the state of Pennsylvania and is personal in nature, not professional in nature. The information given is based strictly upon the facts provided. This post is not intended to create an attorney client relationship, or to provide any specific guarantee of confidentiality

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