The road toward approval of your application for Social Security disability benefits can be long and arduous. Months or years of being denied and having to appeal, submitting endless amounts of medical records and paperwork and attending a stressful hearing can take a toll on you emotionally, physically and financially.
So, it is a relief to finally have your application for SSD benefits approved. Still, this does not mean you will immediately be paid what you are owed.
The waiting period and onset date
Your SSDI payments will start following a five-month waiting period. This means your first check will be issued for the full sixth month following the five-month waiting period.
The waiting period starts on the date the Social Security Administration deems you became disabled. This is known as your onset date.
Your onset date is not always the same date your application for SSD benefits was approved or the date you first applied for SSD benefits.
Your onset date is the date you were rendered unable to work because of your disability. This could be a date prior to the date you applied for SSD benefits.
Do not be discouraged
The five-month waiting period may seem discouraging at first but keep this in mind. Most people wait months or even years before their application for SSD benefits is approved. So, it is possible that if your onset date was the date that you applied for benefits or even earlier, the five-month waiting period will have already passed by the time your application is approved.
So, it is possible that you could receive benefits the month after your application is approved. And even if you must wait out some or all of the five-month waiting period, rest in the knowledge that the application process is over, you were approved and you will eventually be paid what you are owed.