The short answer is that your disability onset date is when your disability first prevented you from working. Your disability onset date will be important when working with the Social Security Administration. It can affect your pay period and even your overall eligibility for SSDI or SSI benefit payments. Your disability onset date will ultimately be determined by the SSA. They have to first consider your medical records, work history, personal testimony, and so on.
How The Disability Onset Date Is Determined In Most Claims
If the applicant suffers from a disability that is not due to a traumatic event, as are most SSDI and SSI claims, the following factors will be considered by the SSA:
- The Applicant’s Allegations Or Testimony – This will be your statement regarding your disability and the date on which it began. This will be included with both your application and the Disability Report.
- Applicant’s Work History – The Social Security Administration office for your district will document the claim with the date on which you stopped working. This is shown on the Work Activity Report SSA form. This will require a different form for employees versus self-employed people.
- Medical Evidence – Here you should furnish all available and appropriate medical records and submit them for consideration. Some ailments, particularly those that are slowly progressive or have a long latency will prove difficult to determine an exact date for, but the officials at the Social Security Administration will make the best, educated inference possible with the available data.
It is important to note that every case will be different from the next. While the disability onset date may vary in some situations, it cannot be inconsistent with the documented medical evidence.
In some circumstances, it may be inferred or demonstrated that the disability onset occurred before the first medically recorded occasion. In cases such as this, the disability onset date is often dependant on the judgment of the presented facts by a medical advisor.
What happens if the applicant suffers from a disability that is the result of a traumatic event? Then the disability onset date will be the date of the injury, but only if the injury is projected to prevent working for a minimum of 12 continuous months, or if the injuries are severe enough that survival is not expected.
Blindness & Childhood Disability
As stated earlier, each disability case will be different. This means each one will have its challenges as well. This is why people frequently work with disability lawyers. So they can be assured that their disability onset date will be determined correctly. There are two special cases to consider:
- Blindness – In the case of statutory blindness, the disability onset date is the date on which the evidence shows the impairment met legal requirements.
- Childhood Disability – With childhood disabilities, it is often not necessary to prove a specific disability onset date, as long as the condition was established in medical records before their 22nd birthday.