Social Security Disability Onset Dates and Post-Onset Work Activity


Social Security Disability claims involve several dates that can be critical to determining the outcome of a case. In every claim for disability, you must declare an alleged onset date at the time your claim is filed. This date is defined legally, but a claimant filing for benefits can put any date they choose. People who are unrepresented at the initial stage of filing often choose onset dates that must later be changed when a lawyer is hired. In general, when a claimant’s lawyer suggests a change to an onset date, they have a good reason. Sometimes the correct date of onset is the difference between winning and losing a case. Sometimes the change in onset date is motivated by what gives the greatest monthly benefit to a claimant. The change in date can be either earlier or later in time. There are several factors to be considered, and your lawyer should discuss the issue with you to ensure the alleged onset date is appropriate to the facts in your case. There are, of course, instances where the onset date does not require any change.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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