When you apply for Social Security Disability benefits, one of the most important dates is what is called the on set date.
Generally, the correct on set date is based on medical facts. That means if you were involved in an accident, the date of the accident might be the date of the on set if you were disabled and unable to work as of that date. On the other hand, the on set date might be the date that your doctor told you that you were unable to work.
Sometimes, the Administrative Law Judge will offer a “deal” at a Social Security Disability hearing, offering a favorable decision if you amend to a later on set date. There are some consequences that you should be aware of. They include:
1. Other entitlement impact. It’s important that you make sure that the stipulation for a later on set date doesn’t harm your position in any claim that you might have for long term disability benefits, union disability benefits, or even workers’ compensation benefits. Changing the date of on set can have an adverse impact on any one of those claims.
2. Workers compensation reduction. Workers’ compensation offsets are calculated based on your earnings and typically, use the highest years earnings out of five when reducing your workers’ compensation benefits. The delay of onset can move the best year of earnings beyond the reach of the workers’ compensation offset calculation, which means that the workers’ compensation offset may be higher.
3. PIA Impact. You get retroactive Social Security Disability benefits paid for a maximum of 12 months where the offset is fixed at least 17 months prior to the application date, 12 months plus the 5 month waiting period.
A delayed on set stipulation can reduce the size of your retroactive benefits and leave less money to you in back benefits.
4. Cobra impact. Qualified employees can keep their group health coverage beyond the usual 18 months to bridge the gap to the start of Medicare. If a) disability onset established by SSA as of the date that is no later than 60 days after the Cobra qualifying event (the end of your employment); and b) the Social Security determination is presented to the plan at the end of the original 18 month Cobra.
This Cobra extension can be for an additional 11 months and changing the on set date for a period beyond the end of your original 18 month Cobra period can result in you losing your Cobra extension.
Need Help With Your Social Security Disability On Set Date Information ?
Amending the on set date can have some adverse consequences that you need to keep in mind. If you have any questions about your Social Security disability on set date, give us a call. We are here to help.