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Receiving Your Social Security Disability Payments

When Do Disability Benefit Payments Begin, and Why?

When do my benefits start? How far back will retroactive benefits reach?


For SSDI and for Disabled Widow's and Widower's Benefits, there exists a five month waiting period. The earliest benefits can begin is five months after the person became disabled. In addition to the waiting period, retroactive benefits can only reach one year back from the date of your claim. To put it another way, benefits cannot be paid for disabled time that is more than one year prior to the date of your claim.

The rules are a little different with Disabled Adult Child benefits and SSI. With Disabled Adult Child benefits, there is no waiting period and the retroactive benefits can only reach six months prior to the date your claim. SSI benefits are not retroactive.

Why do disability benefits have a waiting period?


As its definition suggest, Social Security disability is designed to treat long-term disabilities and not short-term disabilities. The waiting period allows Social Security to pay benefits to only those individuals Congress intended it to protect - those with long-term disabilities. Further, the waiting period allows Social Security to focus on disabled individuals who are without disability coverage. It is not uncommon for disabled persons to receive short-term aid at the disability's onset by using sick days or receiving payments from charities or friends at the disability's onset. With the waiting period, Social Security can avoid giving money where some already exists and can simply focus on those who have run out of options. A Social Security Home Attorney or advocate can file your initial claim completely and quickly, thereby avoiding any unnecessary delays. Use the "free case evaluation tool to get started on your claim today.


How Much Will Social Security Disability Payments be?

Social Security Disability payments vary from individual to individual depending on how much you have earned in the past. This is true for SSDI benefits, disabled widow's or widower's benefits, and disabled adult child benefits. You can obtain a free estimate from the Social Security Administration by requesting a Social Security Statement. Unlike other benefits, a universal base benefit amount exists for SSI benefits. The benefit may still vary from individual to individual, however, if Social Security offsets the base benefit amount by any other income the beneficiary is receiving.

A Social Security Home Attorney or advocate can ensure the Social Security Administration calculates your payments correctly as well as monitor and notify you of your case's progress.