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How Long Does It Take for Social Security Disability To Pay?

Published by Anton Ficek

An hourglass sitting beside stacks of coins. Awaiting Social Security Disability benefits.

How Long Will It Take To Get Approved for Social Security Disability?

If you have a disability and are unable to work, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits. The Social Security Administration (SSA) offers financial support to qualifying individuals. Claimants can apply for either Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

A common question among disability applicants is, “How long does it take to get approved for SSD?” Typically, the process takes a few months, but the specific timeline can vary from person to person.

After filing a disability claim, applicants usually receive a determination within 3-8 months. This timeline can be affected by the amount of supporting evidence provided with your claim. It may take longer if the SSA needs to request additional information from you to properly review your application.

As of March 2024, the time estimate for reviewing most initial applications is 6-8 months, according to the SSA. However, many people end up waiting as long as a year or more. This is especially true in situations where the initial determination was unfavorable and claimants have to file an appeal.

When Do You Start Receiving Social Security Disability Payments?

How long does it take to receive Social Security Disability payments after your claim is approved? It depends on whether you’ve applied for SSDI or SSI.

SSI payments begin during the first full month after you’ve applied or become eligible. However, SSDI has a 5-month waiting period. This means that once the SSA approves your claim, benefit payments don’t start until the sixth full month after your disability began.

Additionally, the SSA does not consider partial months when calculating the proper date of payment. This means that if your disability didn’t begin on the first of the month, the waiting period would not begin until the subsequent month.

A few other factors can also come into play when it comes to receiving your first disability check. These include your disability established onset date (EOD) and potential for disability back pay or retroactive pay.

Established Onset Date (EOD)

An established onset date is the date the SSA determines your disability began and you became unable to work. Sometimes, a claimant’s EOD is months before they filed for disability. This date is important because it determines the start date of your SSDI waiting period.

Back Pay & Retroactive Pay

Disability back pay refers to the compensation you may receive for each full month between your application date and claim approval, excluding the five-month waiting period.

Retroactive pay refers to payments awarded for the time between your EOD and application date. Retroactive payments are available to SSDI beneficiaries and cover a maximum of 12 months’ time.

While you can receive SSI back pay, you cannot receive SSI retroactive pay. This means you can receive back payments for the time from your application date to your approval date. However, you can’t receive retroactive payments for the time between your EOD and application date.

Expedited SSD Claim Approval

Compassionate Allowances (CAL) and Quick Disability Determinations (QDD) are two programs that help the SSA rapidly review disability claims. This means claim determinations are expedited and disabled individuals receive critical support in less time.

The CAL program helps ensure people with severe and fatal medical conditions quickly get the help they need. While the QDD helps identify applications that are likely to be approved and include readily available medical evidence.

What Can Delay Claim Approval?

There are a few factors that can delay the SSA in making a determination on your claim. They commonly include:

  • A lack of evidence
  • Medical record delays
  • The need for a medical examination (requested by the SSA)
  • Initial claim denial

A properly filed claim can greatly reduce the time it takes to receive a decision from the SSA. If you need help filing for Social Security Disability Benefits, contact Ficek Law, PC, today. Our lawyers are ready to help you through every stage of the application process.

Contact Ficek Law, PC

If you’re wondering how long it takes to be approved for disability, our team is here to help. At Ficek Law, PC, our Social Security Disability attorneys in North Dakota are highly familiar with the SSA’s processes and guidelines. We fully understand timelines, application requirements, and procedures.

Our firm has the knowledge and experience necessary to help increase your chances of receiving the benefits you need. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

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