If you apply for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits and Social Security approves your claim, you may receive benefits from up to 12 months before your filing date. As a result, most applicants receive back pay when their benefits begin. Depending on the circumstances, a claimant's dependent children may also receive SSDI back pay.
Social Security calculates your monthly benefit as a portion of your previous earnings. If you have qualifying family members, they may each be entitled to a benefit of up to 50 percent of your disability rate. However, your family's total monthly benefit can't typically exceed 180 percent of your benefit amount. Family members who may be eligible for benefits include a spouse caring for your children, children under 18, children aged 18 or 19 who are enrolled in school full-time and children over age 18 who are disabled.
If Social Security approves your claim and you are entitled to back pay, you will receive benefits for every month that passed since you became eligible for SSDI. Social Security typically remits back pay in a lump sum disbursement. If you have a spouse or dependent children who are entitled to benefits based on your SSDI claim, they will also receive back pay.
Death of Claimant
If you die while receiving benefits, your qualifying children and other dependents can continue to receive their SSDI benefits. You can also designate a beneficiary to receive your monthly benefit when you die. If you die before Social Security approves your claim, your children may be entitled to your benefits and back pay. However, your surviving spouse will receive benefits first.
If your children are entitled to payments under your SSDI benefits, they will receive back pay for the same number of months as you. Though you can receive back pay for up to 12 months before you filed your SSDI application, your benefits can't start until five months after the date your disability began. If you don't include your children on your initial disability application, it may take longer to obtain their benefits.