SSDI Benefits: What is Disability Onset Date in an SSDI Claim?

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When filing an SSDI claim, you must first understand a number of basic concepts and terms. Though simple, these concepts play a crucial role in determining your odds of success in seeking disability benefits. Oftentimes, it would be best if you go over these concepts with the help of an experienced Greenville SC disability lawyer if that is where you are filing a claim.

However, you can also try and grasp the basics on your own so that you know what you are getting into. When it comes to social security disability benefits claims, an important concept is the disability onset date, also known as the DOD.

What is DOD?

The Disability Onset Date is the first date from which you can prove your disability with the help of relevant and acceptable evidence. This means that DOD is not simply a date when you think you became disabled. It is when your medical evidence, physician’s notes, and other proof concretely establishes that you first became disabled.

Importance of the Disability Onset Date

The DOD is of vital importance to any disability benefits claim. This is for a number of reasons. If your DOD is established as a date after your last insured date has passed, then Social Security Administration (SSA) can immediately determine that you are not eligible for SSDI benefits. This is simply because you are not insured for the benefits. Similarly, if you are aged below 50, between 50 and 54, or above 55, the date of the onset of your disability can likewise be determined through varying procedures.

How Does SSA Establish DOD?

In the eyes of SSA, your disability truly begins when it no longer allows you to work. This is why when asking for DOD, the real question that the SSA asks is for the date from which you were unable to work because of the disability. This means that you are not required to provide the date on which your disability actually began or the date on which it was diagnosed by a physician. Instead, you should provide the date when the condition prevented you from continuing your work anymore.

Of course, SSA will require all the relevant evidence to recognize the DOD that you provide. Such evidence may include work records, medical records, and more.

Is it Possible to Amend DOD?

Yes, it is possible to have the DOD amended after you have first provided it in your SSDI application. The reasons for having the DOD amended can be numerous. In many cases, having the DOD amended is actually to your benefit.

In many cases, DOD may need to be amended if new medical conditions and symptoms become known after you had filed the claim. With these new conditions and symptoms, it may be easier for you to become eligible for the disability benefits. So it makes sense to have the DOD amended to a later date while including the new symptoms as well.

Another interesting factor is age which you should consider when providing a DOD. SSA’s guidelines for establishing disability are different for people whose disability began at age 50 and above. In this age group, it is typically easier to establish disability. Sometimes, an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) may even advise you to move your DOD to a later date in order to improve your chances of getting a favorable decision.

Finally, other facts of your claim may make it necessary for you to move your DOD to a later date. For instance, if you recovered briefly and resumed work for a time after the alleged DOD, you will need to shift the DOD to a later date.

Is it Beneficial to Amend DOD?

As discussed above, amending the DOD can be beneficial in some cases. This is particularly so if it moves your onset date to after you turned 50. However, there are some downsides as well. Amending DOD to a later date also means that your benefits are delayed. This means possibly missing out on the benefits you may have received since the original DOD you provided. This is why it is important to make this decision after consulting your attorney.

Hiring Reliable Disability Lawyers in Greenville SC

If you are in the process of filing a disability claim with SSA, our experienced disability lawyers can help you. Here at Robert Surface Law Firm, we specialize in helping disabled individuals seek disability benefits. Reach out to us today to discuss your claim, the alleged DOD, and other aspects of your disability benefits application.