Fully favorable versus partially favorable Social Security disability decisions can make a notable monetary difference. In the context of a Social Security disability claim, a fully favorable decision is one that grants disability benefits as well as certifies the established date of onset (EOD) listed on your application.
A partially favorable decision also awards benefits, but it moves the EOD forward, resulting in a lower back pay award. Another possible result of a partially favorable decision is that you get approved for benefits only for a closed period, meaning you receive an award covering a period of disability in the past but do not continue to collect benefits going forward.
What Is the Established Date of Onset (EOD)?
When a Social Security disability applicant receives a partially favorable decision instead of a fully favorable decision, the reason usually involves the established date of onset (EOD). EOD is a fancy term the SSA uses to refer to the date you became disabled. If you were diagnosed with seizure disorder on March 1, 2017, and the SSA accepts this diagnosis as valid when reviewing your disability claim, your EOD would be March 1, 2017.
Why Does EOD Matter?
EOD matters because you are eligible to receive benefits all the way back to five months after the onset of your disability. If your EOD, as in the example above, was March 1, 2017, you would be eligible for benefits starting in August 2017.
Most people who apply for Social Security disability do not get approved for many months after they become disabled. This is for a couple of reasons:
- The application process itself can take some time, resulting in a gap between onset date and application date.
- Social Security is known for very long wait times once you submit your application—long as in many months to a year or more before you get a decision, depending on how backlogged they are when you apply.
Of the two, the second is more significant. Imagine you get your application submitted in April 2017 for the disability that was diagnosed a month earlier. Then the waiting process begins. Finally, in August 2018, you get approved for SSDI, with an award of $1,500 per month. Since your eligibility began in August 2017, you are eligible for 12 months of retroactive pay totaling $18,000.
What Happens if the SSA Does Not Agree With My Onset Date?
Let us refer to the above example one more time. Say you submit your application in April 2017 and receive an approval in August 2018, but it is a partially favorable decision, with the SSA assigning you a new EOD of January 1, 2018.
Now, instead of receiving 12 months of retroactive benefits, you get only two months (remember the five-month waiting period; your eligibility starts not in January but in June). So rather than getting a big check for $18,000, you receive a much more modest one for $3,000.
Because you received a partially favorable decision versus a fully favorable decision, you missed out on $15,000 in benefits that you otherwise would have collected. This is why it is crucial to speak with a Social Security disability attorney before accepting a partially favorable decision.
Can I Appeal a Partially Favorable Decision?
You can appeal a partially favorable decision, and a Social Security disability attorney can help you with the process. Your lawyer will review the reason for the decision and then gather evidence to convince the SSA to reverse it.
If you received a partially favorable decision because the SSA disagreed with your stated date of onset, your lawyer can scour your medical records for proof that you were indeed disabled on the date you claimed. Additional evidence that might bolster your case includes statements from your treating physicians, lab test results, and testimony from medical experts.
A Stipulated Benefit
If the SSA issued a decision that was not just partially favorable but stipulated a closed benefit period, your attorney can gather evidence to prove that you still suffer from the condition and that it still affects your functional capacity to the level that you qualify for benefits.
Often, a partially favorable decision can be overturned and ruled fully favorable with the right evidence. An attorney can help you build a compelling case.
Call 866-628-8179 Today to Schedule Your Free, No-Risk Consultation With a Social Security Disability Attorney
The difference in a fully favorable versus a partially favorable Social Security disability decision can mean thousands of dollars or more. It can also affect your future compensation, especially if you receive a partially favorable decision stipulating a closed benefit period.
If you are trying to qualify for Social Security disability, the attorneys at the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, want to help. We offer a free, no-risk consultation, and if you decide to move forward, you do not pay us until we win benefits for you. To schedule an appointment right away, call our office at 866-628-8179.