What is the alleged onset date in my claim for disability?

When a claimant files a claim for disability benefits with the Social Security Administration, the claimant will be asked, “What is the Alleged Onset Date of your disability?” I am frequently asked what an Alleged Onset Date is. I like to explain to my clients that it is more of a legal term than a medical one. What Social Security is really asking is, “When did you need to stop working full time due to your medical condition or disability?” This point of time will, obviously, be very different from the time your disabling conditions actually began.

For example, let’s say that John Coldridge started having back pain on January 1, 2009. He worked full time through the pain for several years until January 1, 2011, when he had to stop work completely due to debilitating back pain. When asked, “What is the Alleged Onset Date of your disability?”, John will logically think and say, “January 1, 2009.” After all, that is when his back pain started. However, for purposes of his Social Security disability claim, his Alleged Onset Date is more appropriately January 1, 2011, because this is the date he stopped work due to his condition.

For a more formal definition of the term “AOD,” click here: Alleged Onset Date.