Understanding Your Disability Onset Date

One of the first questions that you'll have to answer when you apply for Social Security Disability is about your onset date. The onset date refers to the date when you became disabled or were no longer able to do your job. This date is used as the starting point for your claim and is the time when your payments would start. This question can catch you unprepared if you don't know what to expect. Here's a look at what you need to know about choosing your onset date.

What Should The Onset Date Be?

Whether you've been terminated from work due to performance, resigned, or are out due to injury, you can use that date as your date of onset. If you haven't been working, the onset date would be considered as the date when you were no longer able to do your job or any other similar type of work.

If you lost your job for issues unrelated to your actual job performance, you may not be able to use your termination date as your onset date. In that situation, you'll want to choose a date that corresponds to an injury or specific medical event that affected your ability to work.

Why Should You Talk With An Attorney?

It's important to talk with a Social Security Disability attorney right away if you're uncertain about your onset date. He or she will help you evaluate the situation and determine what date is the most accurate. In some cases, your attorney may even be able to petition the court to move your onset date to an earlier one if you've already provided an incorrect date.

Can A Judge Change The Onset Date For Other Reasons?

If your case is heard in front of a Social Security adjudicator, he or she can change the onset date if there's just reason for it. This can leave you in a position where you have to either accept the approval with the revised date or file an appeal. If you file an appeal, you may end up with a judge who denies the claim. One of the most common reasons why an adjudicator might change the onset date is if it is apparent that you were working at the time of your initial date or if medical records show that your disability wasn't debilitating until a later point.

With the information here, you can better understand the onset date of your disability and the role it plays in your benefit determination. If you have other questions, talk with a Social Security attorney today.