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  • Dan McCaskell, PhD

Can I increase my Social Security Disability Retroactive or Disability Benefits?

A question I get often is: Can I increase my Social Security Disability Retroactive or Disability Benefits?

Answer: Yes, sometimes.

Social Security is principally two insurances; Social Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Income (SSDI). I always encourage my clients to file for both. Social Security Disability Insurance has a 5-month waiting period of which there are no cash benefits paid. However, if one files for both benefits, SSI and SSDI, the SSI will pay an estimated $960 per month for those first 5-month or about $6,600 more.

When you apply, Social Security will evaluate both the SSI and SSDI applications and will determine if you are eligible for both.


The Onset Date of Disability may also increase or decrease your payments. The further back Social Security has to pay you, the more money ends up in your pocket.


Typically, the Onset Date is the last date that you actually worked on a regular basis. For my client's, I encourage them to use that date. Other dates that my clients are tempted to use is a failed work attempt. This is when one goes back to work to see if they have the physical and mental capabilities to continue that work but fail. This is a failed work attempt. These can be complicated.


So if you have any questions just give my office at call at (707) 528-0443.

Dan McCaskell, Ph.D., C.R.C., C.V.E., C.C.M.

Claimant Representative

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