If you’ve become disabled and unable to work, you might qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. Many SSDI applicants wonder how long it will take to start receiving their disability payments. Generally, it takes a few months, but the timeline varies per person.
After you file your SSDI claim, it usually takes around three to five months to decide. The time will depend on how much evidence you provide with your application. If the Social Security Administration (SSA) needs more records from you, it can take longer.
Three to five months is just the average. Some people will only wait a couple of months while others could wait a year or more. Plus, some people have to fight to get approval. Once you get approval, you can start receiving benefits for the next month.
How Can You Start Receiving SSDI Benefits?
First, you will need to apply through the SSA. It’s best to apply as soon as possible after you become disabled. Starting sooner will help you avoid missed benefits.
When you actually get your first check depends on a few factors:
- The waiting period
- Your established onset date
- Back payments
SSDI has a five-month waiting period. After you become disabled, you cannot receive benefits until five months later. Social Security does not count partial months. Unless your disability started on the first of the month, the waiting period wouldn’t start until the following month.
If the SSA approves your claim, you can start receiving benefits on the sixth full month after your disability began. For example, say you became disabled on January 5, 2020. If you get approval, your benefits could start on July 1, 2020.
Established Onset Date
When the SSA reviews your case, they will determine an established onset date (EOD). Your EOD is the date your disability began. This date is vital because it determines when your waiting period starts.
Your EOD is not the same as your application date (unless you applied on the day you became disabled). If you believe that the SSA gave you a wrong EOD, contact a Social Security Disability lawyer.
At John Foy & Associates, we don’t charge a fee unless we win your case. Contact us today to discuss your concerns during a FREE consultation. Call (404) 400-4000 or contact us online to get your questions answered for FREE.
After your waiting period is over, you might have months without benefits. Getting SSDI approval takes time. You can receive back payments for any full months between your EOD and your approval (minus the five-month waiting period).
You will typically receive back payments as a lump-sum instead of monthly payments. When you receive back pay is usually different from when you get your first SSDI check.
What Can Delay Your SSDI Benefits?
There are a few factors that can delay when you start receiving SSDI. Keep these in mind when thinking about your first benefits check.
The SSA’s initial response to your claim makes a big difference in how long you’ll wait. Typically, an application takes between 30 and 90 days to process.
If the SSA approves your claim on the first try, you could get approval in up to 90 days. However, you could wait much longer if SSA denies your claim.
Unfortunately, denied SSDI claims are common. Even if an application isn’t denied, the SSA might contact you to get more information. Thankfully, you can appeal a denial to try to get your benefits. If you don’t get approval right away, you could wait months or years for benefits.
Medical Record Delays
When you apply for SSDI, you will need to prove your disabling condition. You’ll back up your claim with medical records about your situation. However, doctors can take a long time to send in your files.
Thankfully, you might be able to speed up the medical record process. See if you can obtain copies of the records and send them yourself. A Social Security Disability lawyer can help you do this.
Lack of Evidence
The SSA could deny your claim if you didn’t provide enough medical evidence. Even if you provided records, the SSA might say they lacked enough proof.
Social Security could have you meet with one of their doctors. You’ll need to schedule an appointment, which can mean more delays.
Your Home State
The SSDI application process can vary by state. Some states take longer to process claims than others. If you are worried about your case taking too long, contact a local SSDI lawyer for help.
John Foy & Associates can help with your SSDI claim. We have over 20 years of experience, and we understand what Social Security is looking for in an application. We can assist you with applying, appealing, filing a lawsuit, and more.
To schedule a FREE, no-obligation consultation, call (404) 400-4000, or contact us online.
Is There a Way to Get SSDI Payments Sooner?
You’ll still need to meet with a Social Security representative, but starting online will save a lot of time. This doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get your benefits sooner. However, it can help by getting your application in the system faster.
The SSA also has two fast-track processes:
- Compassionate Allowances (CAL)
- Quick Disability Determinations (QDD)
These processes provide faster benefits to those with very severe medical conditions. The SSA uses technology to determine who has the direst of circumstances. Talk to your lawyer if you believe you qualify for a fast-track option.
Talk to a Social Security Disability Lawyer for Free Today
At John Foy & Associates, we have been helping SSDI applicants for over 20 years. We can help you with each step of your disability benefits case. Plus, we do not charge a fee unless we win your case.
To schedule a FREE consultation today, call (404) 400-4000, or contact us online.