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Old 02-16-2010, 03:55 PM   #1
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What's the largest amount of years for back pay?

What's the largest amt. of years you can receive back pay for? My hearing is tomorrow and I have read and/or heard so many different versions of what is the most years SS will give.

I first came down with Fibromylgia when it hit me like a ton of bricks by the end of the 1st mo. I started having symptoms. The first 6 yrs. I had it, I experienced the most horrible pain, which caused me to be suicidal and feel like I was going to lose my mind because everyday I didn't know how I could make it thru another work day.

In 2002, I had a pain pump implanted in my stomach, which gave me my life back to a certain point, but I still suffer pain if I overdo anything which sends me into a flareup. Believe me, after 13 years of suffering, I have learned to pace myself to keep my pain level as managable as possible. I do want to add that in 2001, I fell at work (due to company negligence) and ended up having rotator cuff surgery in 2002, that left me with a 10% impairment (not the 4% the company was hoping to base pain and suffering damages be paid to me on) .

The month before that surgery is when I had the pain pump implanted and my co. never mentioned anything about the strong meds in the pump and, as matter of fact, my boss was thrilled w/ the difference in everything about me from the bounce I gained in my walk to the countenance of my face (not having a permanent grimmance of pain on it).

Long story short (ha, ha), the week after I came back from rotator cuff surgery, my company tried to terminate me based on their concern I had major narcotic meds in my pain pump that would hinder me from doing my job. To stay employed, I had to get a letter from my dr. stating that the purpose of the pump was to make me fully functional and alert. Since it just happened to be job performance review time, I was told I wouldn't be getting a raise for my prior year's job performance.

During th next 6 mos. of further healing from rotator surgery, I was taking lots of breakthru pain meds and, although I performed my job perfectly, I started to notice I was being treated unfairly, my job duties began to grow and I noticed an attitude change towards me by the dept. head and my 1st boss, who was over my then current boss. That boss confirmed my suspicions because of our friendship. The dept. head started pressuring her to make me miserable enough so I would leave. Within 6 mos. both her parents because so ill, she had to quit and that was when things really got worse for me.

My job grew so big, I could no longer get the work done in a 40 hr. week as req'd, so it became "all my fault" for doing a terrible job and I was told to "step it up". I started getting called into my new boss's office for a meeting every 2 weeks to go over my work production and would get a verbal warning that I would be terminated if I didn't get my work done every week. I started working thru every lunch hr. and staying for 2 - 2 1/2 hrs. every night w/out being paid O.T. and I still couldn't catch up.

I was as determined to keep my job as they were to get rid of me since I was 55 and had 6 weeks of vacation and great pay and benefits. However, the stress began to take a toll on me, making me exhausted and in constant pain. I would have to take muscles relaxers, pain meds and started taking xanax for my nerves.

Finally in Nov. 2007, I was laid off and given a big severance pkg. so I would go quietly. I was told they were starting a reduction in force because they were going to outsource my work to India. In the 75 year history of my co., no one had ever been laid off. I tried to get another job and was actually hired twice and temped several times. The places that hired me let me go after 1 week because I could not learn new job skills/software, nor did I have any Excel or Powerpoint experience, let alone proficiency in them, which is now req'd for 99% of jobs whether it is being a receptionist or a admin. assistant. Another factor is that at those 2 jobs and the temps jobs. I kept falling asleep throughout the day, just like I do now at home or anywhere I go. Additionally, I am going to be 58 in April and being off work for over 2 years now has caused my muscles to atrophy so much faster than when I worked.

I'm pretty confident I will win my case, its just that I don't know how far back my back pay will go. I plan to ask my atty tomorrow before the hearing, but I was just wondering what everyone's thoughts were on this board. I will post back how I think my hearing went. I do apologize for how long this is.

 
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Old 02-16-2010, 04:32 PM   #2
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Re: What's the largest amt. of years for back pay?

Sorry to hear that you have had to go through what you have. Now, may I ask have you applied for SSA and have you been denied at any level ?

 
Old 02-16-2010, 08:04 PM   #3
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Re: What's the largest amt. of years for back pay?

I mentioned at the beginning of my post that my hearing is tomorrow. I didn't mention that it is with an ALJ judge. My 1st application was denied and my appeal of that denial was rejected. My atty is confident I will win my case. My post was so long that I didn't mention I also have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Attn. Deficit Disorder and chronic bladder infections. My OCD and ADD caused more problems at work than did my Fibromyalgia because non of my co-workers could get along with me because of my perfectionism because my job involved all paperwork passing my hands last and I was too good at catching their mistakes and asking them to fix them. I loved my job and was obsessed over doing everything perfect and taking on extra work, whereas most of my co-workers were there to get a paycheck and socialize as much as they could. My bosses loved, loved, loved my perfectionism, but that meant I became the "standard" that all the other admin. assistants were measured against when it came time for raises. My first few years there I was given raises that were twice what the others got, so they were angry and couldn't figure out why I was the only one not complaining.

My ADD caused another whole set of problems that involved not being able to concentrate on my work because of all the talking/socializing going on in the large open area where I worked with about 16 other people. I would wear earplugs on a regular basis and asked my boss to bring the issue up when the supervisors met for their weekly meetings so that they would speak to their admins about being considerate of others. You can imagine how well that went over. Another thing that irritated people was that I kept to myself and didn't make friends because I was in so much pain all the time and people just plain don't what to hear how bad you feel everyday, plus I was trying not to make my Fibro be a work issue.

I've got to go now and finish getting my paperwork together for the hearing tomorrow.

Last edited by pixiepoodle; 02-16-2010 at 08:06 PM. Reason: typos

 
Old 02-16-2010, 08:54 PM   #4
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Re: What's the largest amount of years for back pay?

There are some inportant dates to keep up with:
Onset date - the date SSA says you were disabled.
Entitlement date - the date benefits can begin, max 1 yr before applying
Application date - date you applied for SSDI
Onset + 5 date - add 5 months to the Onset date

Take the date one applied for SSDI. Now go back 1 year. That's as far back as they can set the "entitlement date", regardless of how long one has been ill. The actual date depends on the Onset date. So the maximum backpay is 1 year before applying.

Now, add 5 months to the Onset date. Benefits will begin either with the "Application date - 1 year", or with the "Onset + 5 months" date, whichever one gives the least amount of money.

So, guesstimate that backpay will start about 6-7 months before the application date if you applied about the time you became disabled. If the onset date is more than 1 1/2 years prior to the application date, you would get the full year of benefits. This is why it is so important to apply as soon as possible. Every month delayed, means a month of benefits lost. Good luck on your hearing.

So there isn't really a "largest amt of years for back pay." The back pay mostly depends on how long the approval process took. Everyone only goes back maximum 1 year from the application date.

Last edited by roses4lace; 02-16-2010 at 08:57 PM.

 
Old 02-19-2010, 05:01 AM   #5
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Re: What's the largest amount of years for back pay?

Thanks for the info roses4lace, even though I found it a little difficult to understand. My atty wanted to be sure the judge didn't try to give his approval of my claim based on shortening my back pay amt. because there was a discrepency as to when I was considered disabled. Although I came down with Fibro in 1996, my company only started making my health an issue in 2002 after I fell and had to have rotator cuff surgery, which left my dominant arm permanently impaired.

At that point, they tried making my life at work so miserable that I would find another job and leave. When that failed, they laid me off in Nov. 2007. When it became obvious I had won my case at the end of hearing, the judge wanted to discuss the entitlement date with my atty because he wanted to know if we were looking at the date as going back to 2002 or a later date.

My atty said since I was laid off in Nov. 2007, he considered 12/1/07 as the date of my disability, plus he added 5 months to that date, giving me an entitlement date effective 5/1/08. I figure if they start cutting my 1st monthly check starting on 4/1/10, that would mean the length of my back pay will be 1 yr and 11 mos. If it doesn't start until 5/1/10, then it would go back 2 years.

Regardless of when my 1st monthly check is cut, my disability money goes back only to 5/1/08, regardless that I actually didn't file my original claim until 10/13/08 so I don't see how I lost a month of pay by not filing until 11 mos. after I was laid off from my job. Anyway, I'm a very happy camper at this point. I'm going to start a new thread to announce I won in case no one checks back here to see if I won.

 
Old 02-19-2010, 09:34 PM   #6
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Re: What's the largest amount of years for back pay?

Congratulations on winning your case! It does seem that everything SSA does is difficult to understand, sorry my explanation was confusing.

 
Old 02-20-2010, 07:06 PM   #7
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Re: What's the largest amount of years for back pay?

I believe that if you were working and making gainful employment, even while under diagnosis and treatment, they will not go back that far. SSDI/SSI is meant to replace a portion of your income for any period for which you were not working (or were not making substantial gainful activity i.e. minimal earnings).
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Old 02-21-2010, 07:51 AM   #8
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Re: What's the largest amount of years for back pay?

So happy to hear you won your case. I filed for SSDI in 2002, but was diagnosed in 2000, so SS went back to the 2000 year as my start date for disability. So it is more than one year back pay. Just depends on how and when you apply. It's great news for you.!

Last edited by debbiebp; 02-21-2010 at 07:51 AM.

 
Old 02-21-2010, 09:43 PM   #9
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Re: What's the largest amount of years for back pay?

Thanks everyone for sharing in my happiness for winning my case. The real victory is that my disability is Fibromyalgia. It wasn't too many years ago that it was extremely difficult to win for having Fibro. Hopefully, my success will encourage others wth Fibro not to be afraid to file for benefits. Good luck to those still in the waiting process.

Last edited by pixiepoodle; 02-21-2010 at 09:46 PM.

 
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