Most people unable to work because of a medical condition are understandably anxious about receiving their first disability payment. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is not one of those quick payment solutions, though. Those applying for SSDI benefits should get ready for a long wait just to have their benefits either denied or approved. Once that happens, though, the speed at which you get your first payment depends on several factors. To get a better idea of what to expect after you apply, read on to learn more.
Monitor Your Application
SSDI applicants might get their benefits decided upon a lot faster if they take a more proactive approach. Mistakes with applications and the need to send in additional information to the Social Security Administration (SSA) is a frequent happening. That means you could get a jump on problems by checking up on your application every few weeks or so. You can phone the SSA and you can also visit them at a nearby office to see how things are progressing with your application. It might take weeks for the SSA to send you a request by mail so monitoring things may help tremendously.
Your Benefits Are Approved
Keep in mind that almost all applicants for SSDI benefits get a denial and have to file an appeal before they are approved. If you do get approved, you may still have to wait several weeks or even up to a month before the checks begin to arrive. You can help make matters easier by opening a bank account since the SSA doesn't send paper checks anymore.
Your Benefits Are Denied
As already mentioned, don't let this common response throw you. You are entitled to an appeal before an administrative law judge, and you should plan to follow up with a Social Security disability attorney. With a professional's help, you may be approved through an appeal but it may still be several weeks before you see any money.
Be Aware of the Waiting Period
Regardless of how your benefits are approved, all SSDI applicants have to wait at least five months from the time they became disabled until they get benefits. While the wait time is significantly longer than five months, that is five months that you won't be eligible for back pay. Back pay is a lump-sum payment covering the time it took to approve your application. If several months (three, for example) have elapsed since you were approved and no benefits have been paid, contact the SSA or your Social Security lawyer for help.
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