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Will you have to wait 5 months for Social Security disability?

Not being able to work has numerous downsides. Some people may feel as if they are a burden on their spouse or other family member because they cannot generate an income. They may feel a lack of self-worth because they cannot contribute to society through their work or to their family. As a result, a disabling condition can lead to many difficult feelings and concerns, especially regarding finances, which is why many people try to obtain Social Security Disability Insurance benefits. 

As most people know, obtaining SSDI benefits is not easy. Because of the significant number of rejections that the Social Security Administration issues to benefits applications, most people feel elated when they learn that their application has been approved. Unfortunately, approved applicants may not receive immediate payment as the SSA imposes a five-month waiting period. 

This waiting period affects applicants differently, and the following information may be helpful: 

  • The starting point for the five-month waiting period is the date that the applicant became disabled and unable to work. 
  • This date is likely not the same as when the person applied for benefits or when the person received an approval for benefits. 
  • The date could be days, weeks or months before the person chose to apply. 
  • If a person became disabled several months before gaining approval for SSDI, that individual could receive a payment much sooner than someone who was disabled for a short time before being approved. 
  • The SSA pays benefits the month after they are due, which means that some people could technically wait six months before they receive their first payment. 
  • The review of SSDI applications can take the SSA months to complete, so the wait period may already be over by the time of approval for some applicants. 

The idea of having to wait months to receive benefits after going through the Social Security disability application process can seem frustrating. However, it is possible that the extra wait will not apply to certain parties. As a result, it is always wise to consider the specific details of an individual case when determining whether a wait period is in effect or if issues with receiving benefits exist. 

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