Why Is The Alleged Onset Date So Important?

Your “alleged onset date” determines when your disability back payment benefits begin

calendar with red pin on 15th day

The alleged onset date (AOD) is the date you claim your disability began. This date determines how many months of back payment you will receive when you are approved. The logic behind choosing this date depends on your work history, medical records, type of claim you are applying for, and previous denial of a disability claim. Setting your AOD to the correct date is important because the wrong date could potentially cost you thousands of dollars.

Work History

The most important determining factor for your AOD is your work history. If you are working over the Substantial, Gainful Activity (SGA) level of $1,090 (pre tax) per month, you are ineligible to receive disability benefits. Therefore, your AOD should be a date when your income dropped below the SGA level. Another important factor is your date last insured (DLI). Your DLI is dependent upon when you stopped working and paying Social Security FICA taxes. Your AOD must be on or before your DLI in order to be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). If your AOD does not precede your DLI, and you do not have strong medical records to prove you became disabled before your DLI, you are not eligible for SSDI benefits. However, you may be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

Your DLI does not apply to an SSI claim. For SSI, your AOD is the date you filed your initial application. You will receive back payment starting the month after you filed your application through the date you are approved for SSI benefits.

Medical Records

Your AOD should coincide with your medical records. A definitive date, such as a motor vehicle accident, heart attack, or surgery, may be a good date to select. Whatever date you choose, you need to have been receiving significant treatment for your conditions on or before that date. An AOD without medical support may result in an amendment before you are approved.

Other Issues

ALJ Denial
If you have previously been denied by an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ), your AOD must be after the date you were denied. This is called res judicata. An ALJ has determined you were not disabled, and therefore you can not allege disability before that date.

While you are technically allowed to file for disability while receiving unemployment benefits, it is generally best to set your AOD for the date your unemployment benefits end. In filing for unemployment, you are stating you are actively looking for work, while filing for disability indicates you are currently unable to work.

Established Onset Date (EOD)
ALJs or Disability Determination Services can amend your onset date to a date they see better fit for your disability claim. This is called the established onset date (EOD). Your AOD becomes the EOD once you are approved. If your AOD is amended to a date you do not agree with, you can always appeal that decision.

If applying for SSDI, you can not receive benefits for more than 12 months prior to you application date. This means, due to the 5-month waiting period, the furthest back you should set your AOD is 17 months prior to your application date.

For more information about how to choose the best alleged onset date for your disability claim, contact us now. Our representatives are practiced at selecting the best possible onset date for your claim, getting you as much money back as possible.

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