Why Is There A Waiting Period For Social Security Disability?

Parmele Law FirmSocial Security

When you are unable to work due to a disability it is critical to start the flow of benefits as soon as possible. The Social Security Administration will make payments for disability and also for Supplement Security Income if you qualify. In order to get these much needed benefits you have to apply, and the process can be confusing and time consuming. On top of the time it takes to file an application for benefits, you will also have to wait before payment of those benefits begins. The total time spent between becoming disabled and the first payment can be great, which is why it is so essential to make your application as soon as possible.

The waiting period for social security disability is 5 months, calculated as follows:

  • You must be disabled for a total of 5 months, after the date on which you initially became disabled, before you will receive your first payment.
  • Payments will begin in month 6, and at this time it is likely your application is still pending.
  • If you have not yet been approved and because payments do not get made during the 5 month waiting period, it is possible to miss out on a total of 5 months’ worth of disability payments.

Even though payments are not made during the waiting period, you are entitled to back payments once your application is approved. Again, this is why it is crucial to make an application as soon as you become disabled. For example, if you are disabled on March 1 and do not make application until July 1, 4 months’ of disability payments are put at risk because back payments are only paid for the months between your application date and your approval date. During the 5 month waiting period to get your first payment, you will need to look for other sources of income. This might come in the form of a worker’s compensation payment if your disability is tied to an on the job injury or you may be entitled to Supplemental Security Income (SSI). SSI is not subject to the 5 month waiting period and these benefits can help to fill the gap until you get disability approval. We understand these rules are complicated, but we have the experience you need to make sure your benefits are maximized.

If you have questions about social security disability benefits and how to apply for every type of benefit you need, call us for help. You can reach us online today for more information or by phone at 855-727-6353.