Back pay is the payment made after an approved Social Security Disability claim based on the date that you became disabled. Back pay is given as a benefit to people who apply for Social Security Disability because it often takes at least five months to complete the application process. The retroactive limit on back pay is usually 12 months before the date of your application.
There is no clear time frame for how long it will take before a claimant begins receiving benefits. As such, most Social Security Disability claimants are entitled to years of back pay. You may not receive your back pay as a lump sum, but, depending on the terms of your case, it may be paid on an incremental basis.
Back payments are calculated against existing formulas applied by the Social Security Administration that take into account cost of living and other factors to determine the amount an individual qualifies for on a monthly basis. This amount plus back pay is what you will receive each month and will also determine how back pay is managed for your individual case. When the SSA distributes back pay, payments will be given incrementally to keep you under income ceilings. Thus, benefits can continue without interruption.