When people get large back-pay checks, how long do they have to spend the funds in order to get their resources below that $2,000 level and not impact future payments?
Generally, SSA will not count the retroactive (back-pay) SSI or Social Security benefits for up to nine months after the person receives them. This includes payments received in installments.
When the individual receives his/her award letter it should spell out the exact length of time s/he has to spend down the retroactive payments. If there is any confusion, definitely check with the local SSA office for specifics on the individual's case.