Alleged Onset Date

The Alleged Onset Date is the date that a disability began or the date that an individual began seeking Social Security Disability benefits. The Alleged Onset Date is set by a claimant when applying for Social Security Disability insurance benefits through the Social Security Administration (SSA). This date is regarded as the date, to the best of the claimant’s knowledge, that a disabling condition began or the date in which the condition required the claimant to seek Social Security Disability benefits. Whether or not the Alleged Onset Date occurred years before the Social Security Disability insurance claim, an individual is not considered disabled until granted that status by the SSA.

The Alleged Onset Date is of great importance to individuals filing for Social Security Disability benefits and can affect the amount of disability compensation a claimant receives, playing a factor in the approval or denial of benefits with the SSA.

The farther back the Alleged Onset Date occurred, the more the amount of back pay an individual will receive upon approval of their claim. However, applicants cannot fabricate an earlier Alleged Onset Date in hopes of gaining more back pay, as medical records will be required to support the date listed. Providing incorrect or untrue information to the SSA could lead to a dismissal of a claimant’s application.

The SSA defines the Alleged Onset Date as the first date in which an individual meets the federal definition of disability, specifically:

  • An individual shows the absence of Substantial Gainful Activity, or the ability to find any gainful employment.
  • A severe impairment that can be proven medically which prevents the individual from being employable or able to work.
  • A disability that is expected to last at least 12 months or until death.

To accurately assess your Alleged Onset Date, you need to refer to the date in which a disability affected the ability to be employed. An Alleged Onset date cannot pre-date employment, as a working individual would not be considered eligible for Social Security disability benefits.