The disability onset date is an important date to be familiar with when seeking Social Security disability benefits. The disability onset date refers to the date that the disabled individual became unable to work because of a disabling medical condition. Social Security disability benefit payments begin with the application date once eligibility requirements for disability benefits are met.

Determining the disability onset date is important because it can impact the benefit pay period calculation and the applicant’s eligibility for Social Security disability benefits. The Social Security Administration determines the onset date based on an evaluation of medical records, work history, application materials and information contained in the application and other types of evidence of the onset date.

Disability benefits are important for many disabled individuals and their families which is why the disability onset date, and understanding how it is calculated and decided upon, is important. In general, individuals are unable to work because of a disabling medical condition, and have the necessary work history to qualify, may be eligible to receive Social Security disability benefits. The medical condition must be expected to last 12 months or longer or result in death. Different options may be available to disabled individuals who do not meet the work history requirement to qualify for Social Security disability benefits.

There are a variety of complexities associated with the process of applying for Social Security disability benefits, however, that should not prevent disabled individuals from seeking the benefits. With knowledge of the application process, and how eligibility and other considerations are determined, disabled individuals can be in a better position to obtain the benefits they need.

Source:, “What is My Disability Onset Date?” Accessed July 20, 2017