An SSDI back pay calculator can help you understand how you will be compensated for the time it takes for your Social Security Disability benefits claim to be approved.

However, it is important to note that there are various types of back payments, and these will vary according to whether you apply for SSI or SSDI.

At Crest SSD, we specialize in helping individuals win disability claims and be awarded the compensation you deserve. If you have questions about how this works, please complete this form or call us at the number above to speak with a qualified agent today. There are no upfront costs to work with us. We only receive a fee directly from the Social Security Administration if you win your case – no out-of-pocket expense for you!

Types of Disability Back Pay

Back pay is considered payments for the months between the date you applied for disability benefits and the date you were approved for benefits. Back pay is another term for past due benefits that have accrued during the approval process.

Why is this important? Most claims are denied one or more times before the claimant is approved for benefits. Additionally, the Social Security Disability application process is usually lengthy, and months or years can pass while awaiting approval.

There is also a key difference between SSDI and SSI back pay benefits:


  • Back payments available
  • Retroactive benefits available
  • No interest on back pay


  • Back payments available
  • No retroactive benefits available
  • No interest on back pay

Retroactive benefits are paid for the months between when you became disabled — also known as your disability onset date — and when you first applied for Social Security disability benefits.

This time period is identified as benefits that you were eligible to receive if you had applied for benefits earlier.

It is important to keep in mind definitions such as onset date and other key phrases used by the Social Security Administration (SSA) when determining how to calculate your disability back pay.

Onset Date: The SSA utilizes the date you filed your disability application as your established onset date, so long as medical evidence supports that you were in fact disabled upon applying for benefits.

If you were disabled for a period of time before your application date, it is highly suggested that you utilize an SSD representative such as Crest SSD to help advocate on your behalf for an onset date that reflects when you became disabled.

Wait Period: The SSA requires that you must be disabled for five months after your disability onset date before you can begin receiving benefits. You can start receiving benefits at the beginning of the sixth month.

Keep in mind that the five-month wait period is typically much shorter than the time it takes for an application to be approved.

Application Date: Retroactive benefits may not be collected for more than 12 months. When taking into consideration the five-month wait period, the Social Security Administration will only recognize a disability onset date up to 17 months before the application date.

Consider Using This SSDI Back Pay Calculator

Below is an example of how you might calculate SSDI back pay benefits. It is important to note that since retroactive months are included, the SSA requires that the five-month wait period be subtracted from the application date and approval date.

The mandatory wait period requires that you are disabled for at least five months before you can begin receiving benefits.

SSDI Benefits Back Pay Calculation

  • Disability Onset Date (EOD) – 1/1/2019
  • Date of Application – 3/1/2019
  • Date of Claim Approval – 1/1/2020
  • Monthly Payment – $500
  • Months between Application Date and Approval Date MINUS Wait Period – 10-5=5
  • Retroactive Months (Between EOD and Application Date) – 2
  • Total Back Payment Due (5 + 2 = 7 X $500) – $3,500

Speak with a Social Security Advocate Today

We know that applying for Social Security Disability benefits alone can be a daunting task, especially when you have to fight for your back pay!

At Crest SSD, our agents specialize in helping applicants receive disability approval. To calculate your potential back pay and begin your application today, please complete this form or call one of our skilled advocates at the number above. Our team of skilled professionals are ready to assist you today!