Those who have suffered a debilitating injury or the onset of a serious medical condition may find themselves struggling to get by. Their inability to work leaves them without income, and their injury or illness can be costly to treat. By filing for Social Security disability, these individuals may be able to find financial relief. However, in order to acquire benefits, certain requirements must be met. These requirements can vary depending on the injury or illness on which the claim is based, but there are certain aspects that all claimants must show.

Amongst these is the disability onset date. This seemingly minor issue can be critical. First of all, the onset of an individual’s disability affects when his or her benefits kick in. Therefore, if one’s disability onset date is determined to be two or three months later than claimed, then the beneficiary may lose out on hundreds, perhaps even thousands of dollars. Second, if the disability onset date is inaccurate, then benefits may be denied outright.

To determine a disability’s onset date, the Social Security Administration will assess several factors. It will analyze the claimant’s allegations, medical evidence, work history, and date of work stoppage. The onset date will be determined to be the first day on which the benefits filer is in fact disabled.

There are a lot of things to consider when seeking disability benefits. Glancing over one or making a mistake when providing evidence for one of the program’s elements could lead to delayed benefits or a claim denial. Thus, those seeking Social Security disability may want to confer with an attorney who can help them make sure their claim is accurate, complete, and persuasive in nature.

Source: Social Security Administration, “SSR 83-20: Titles II and XVI: Onset of Disability,” accessed on Nov. 1, 2015