Once the process of getting approved for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits is finally over, you could be understandably eager for the checks to start showing up in your mailbox (or the direct deposits to appear in your bank account). However, it could be a fairly long wait.
That’s because the Social Security Administration, which approves SSDI applications, considers appeals and administers the program, imposes a five-month waiting period before monthly benefit payments begin. However, this rule does not refer to the date you got approved for benefits, filed your appeal or first submitted your claim.
Instead, the waiting period goes back to the date SSA determined your disability began. For example, say SSA said your disability began on March 31, 2023. If SSA approved your claim within five months of that date, you would have had to wait until September, the sixth full month of eligibility. The date of disability is often determined by when your injury or condition was first diagnosed by a doctor.
Past-due benefits for St. Louis residents
Most SSDI claims take longer than five months to resolve. Depending on which state you live in, it can take a year or longer before your appeal appointment happens. Fortunately, once approved, you are entitled to past-due benefits based on the onset of your disability. Going back to the example above, say SSA approves your claim on appeal in January 2024. That would be ten months after your disability began. SSA would subtract the five-month waiting period and grant you five months’ worth of SSDI past-due benefits, which it would pay in a lump sum within 60 days of approval.
Filing your claim as soon as possible gets the ball rolling sooner and, hopefully, money to replace your lost income earlier. And if your claim gets denied, you should promptly discuss appealing with an SSDI attorney.