When you apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) there is a 5 month waiting period that needs to be considered. The 5 month waiting period means that you can not collect SSDI benefits until you have been disabled for 5 complete months. It’s a little bit of a mystery why the Social Security Administration (SSA) requires this 5 month waiting period. Many people believe that it is just a way for the Social Security Administration to save money. It might be a way to make sure that only people with long term disabilities will apply for SSDI.
If you’re initial application for disability is approved, then you might not start receiving benefits until it has been 5 complete months since the onset of your disability.
For most people, the Social Security Disability application process takes well over 5 months, so as soon as they are approved, they can start receiving benefits. In fact, once you are approved for disability, you may also get some back pay for the months leading up to your “approved” date. All the months that your were disabled, after the 5 month waiting period and before your application for disability was approved, will be paid to you in one lump sum. So, if you were approved 10 months after becoming disabled, you will get 5 months of back pay. You can not receive more that 12 months of back pay, and your attorney fees (if you hired an attorney) will generally be automatically deducted out of you back pay.
For Supplemental Security Income (SSI), there is not a 5 month waiting period; however, your back pay is for all the past months starting when you first applied for SSI on your current claim.
Whether you live in Orange County, Los Angeles County, San Diego County, or the Imperial Valley, the Social Security Disability application and appeal process can often take well over a year before your claim is approved. Click here for a free consultation with an experienced disability attorney in the Southern California area.