If you have been fighting for social security disability benefits and are finally awarded, you may find that you are entitled to a substantial back award. This back award will be given in one lump sum in addition to the monthly payments. We recently shared a post on Facebook from SS about how monthly payment dates vary person to person. Due to this variance, you may not receive benefits on a day that you prefer, like the 1st of each month. It may come on the 3rd Wednesday of each month, so here are some tips on how to budget receiving payments.

It is important to know the due dates for all bills. You can create a list in chronological order that lists all bills and the dates that they are due. This gives you a visual of all of your monthly expenses and due dates. Also, some bills have negotiable due dates, like electricity and water. They may allow you to choose a due date within a given time frame that month, so you may be able to arrange your electricity bill to be due on the 20th of each month instead of the 10th.

It is also a good idea to stay ahead of your payments. Just because a bill says it is due on a particular day, does not mean that you cannot submit your payment earlier than that date. Doing this allows you to ensure bills are paid on time, and removes the stress of worrying whether or not you have the money to pay a bill because you spent a little more than you should have earlier that month. Making sure all bills are paid first gives you freedom with the remaining money.

If you receive a back award, planning for that is different. As mentioned, you will be given your back award as a lump sum. Don’t let the excitement cloud your judgment; you want to spend this money wisely. This may be a good time to pay off some debt that you have accrued while being out of work. It may also be a good idea to make a large purchase to make your life easier to navigate, such as a new more comfortable mattress or making repairs to your home. These types of purchases may help to make your condition more bearable. Be careful about lending money to others. After your back award, you will be on a strict monthly payment plan. Saving some of that money as a just-in-case fund is always a good idea, too!