Frequently, claims will be approved early; but, for whatever reason, the Agency does not go back to the first date the claimant was unable to work. This will result in a much smaller lump sum than it should.
For Example, Orvis had one big health problems and stopped working in January of 2013. Otis turned 50 in December of 2014. The Agncey approves the case, but uses 12/2014 instead of 1/2013. That is about $12,000 of benefits he could have gotten. (He filed in June 2013)
For Example, Eugene had many different health problems and stopped working 1/2010. He filed 1/2011. He got denied and gave up. He filed again 1/2012. He persevered and was approved in 5/2013 starting 12/2011. He got $0 in a lump sum but started getting monthly benefits. Eugene should appeal, ask the Judge to reopen the 1/2011 application. If the Judge does, there will be a $36,000 lump sum.
The point is fairly obvious. Call someone like me to discuss your personal situation as there are many variations on this theme. It may or may not apply to your case, but you should find out because it is probable that if you filed more than once there is more $$ than you might think.