SSI Installment Payments

After winning their SSI disability claims, many claimants are shocked to learn that Social Security is not paying out the entire back due benefit in one lump sum. In many claims with large past-due benefits, the claimant only receives $2,000.00 in back pay upon a win, $2,000.00 six months later, and the remaining past-due balance another six months later.

Claimants will tell me, “But that’s my money. They’ve admitted that I’m owed the money. I want it all at once. I don’t want it broken up into three payments over the course of a year.”

However, Social Security is permitted to and in fact is required to issue large past-due benefits in the three installments, six months apart. But you should know that there are some limited exceptions to this general rule. It is possible to receive all of the back pay at once, or a larger installment payment.

Social Security may pay all of the back pay in one lump sum to a claimant who:

  • is terminally ill and is not expected to live longer than 12 months; or
  • is not currently eligible for SSI and is likely to remain ineligible for 12 more months.

Moreover, Social Security may make a larger installment payment to a claimant who has debts or expenses that are not eligible to be paid by anyone else. Social Security may possibly increase your payment by the amount of current outstanding debts you may have related to food, clothing, shelter, medicine or medically necessary services, supplies or equipment, or the purchase of a home. You should present such obligations to your local Social Security office and they may release more than the $2,000.00 initial and interim installment payments.