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Understanding the importance of the disability onset date

In general, a disabled individual's disability onset date is the day they became unable to work because of the disabling medical condition they suffer from. Determining the onset date of disability can impact qualifying for Social Security disability (SSD) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits or the benefit pay period for benefits.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) considers several factors to determine the disabled individual's disability onset date. The SSA will consider the onset date provided by the disabled applicant in their application for disability. The disabled individual's statement as to when they first began suffering from their disability is considered in addition to the disabled individual's work history. As such, the SSA will also document and consider when the disabled individual had to stop working as a result of their disability.

Lastly, the SSA will consider medical evidence and other related evidence as to the onset date of the disabled individual's disability. To do so, the Social Security Administration will evaluate all available medical records that are submitted so it is important for the disabled individual to be thorough when submitting medical records related to their application for disability. In general, it is always important for disabled applicants to submit thorough medical records as part of their application for benefits.

When there may not be an exact disability onset date, especially for non-traumatic medical conditions which make up the majority of claims for Social Security disability and Supplemental Security Income benefits, the SSA will review the medical records to determine when the disabled individual became disabled. To qualify for SSD benefits, the disabled individual must suffer from a disability caused by a physical or mental medical condition that prevents them from working which is why disabled individuals should be familiar with the sometimes complicated application process and the impact of certain requirements on the process to help them obtain benefits.

Source:, "What is My Disability Onset Date?" Accessed June 27, 2017

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