The "alleged onset date" is the date that you tell Social Security when your disability began when filing the initial applicatoin for benefits. For many people, this may be the last date that they worked full time. However, other people may have stopped working for other reasons than a disability, and they will have to rely upon medical records and other information to determine when they were no longer able to work.
There are other issues that can arise around the alleged onset date. For example, if somebody is filing a Social Security Disability Insurance claim, they must show that their disability began prior to the date they were last insured for benefits. This is called the "date last insured." In order to qualify for disability insurance benefits, the claimant must prove that the disability began prior to the date last insured. Thus, deciding on the alleged onset date is even more important, because it must be a date prior to the date last insured.
In our experience, the Social Security Administration staff at the local branch offices often recommend the earliest alleged onset date possible to ensure that the alleged onset date of disability precedes any date that the claimant was last insured for benefits. It is always easier to amend an application to allege a later onset date than it is to allege an earlier onset date.
In many cases, we will go to a hearing, and agree with the Administrative Law Judge to amend the date that more accurately reflects what are client was no longer able to work on a sustained basis.
If you are in the middle of an application for Social Security Disability benefits, and have questions about the alleged onset date and your insured status, give us a call at 503-325-8600. We can review your claims file, and let you know where you stand with your claim. If you decide to hire us, we are not paid unless we are able to obtain benefits for you.