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You have likely heard of waiting periods or might even be considering your options before applying for SSDI. Many people wonder should you wait to apply for SSDI. We understand that it’s a confusing time, and that’s why the American Disability Action Group or ADA is here to help.

What is the Waiting Period for SSDI?

There is a 5-month waiting period before you can receive SSDI benefits. This waiting period starts from the date on which you are established as being disabled and no longer able to work. In a perfect world, this means that if you become disabled and unable to work today, then you would begin receiving benefits at the beginning of your 6th month with your disability.

Does That Mean You Have to Wait 5 Months Before Applying?

This is where people often get confused. The waiting period is for your benefits, not for your application. You can apply immediately once you become disabled. This is an important distinction to make because disability decisions can take months—often far more than 5 or 6—to be determined.

What’s more, your initial determination could be a denial which would mean you would have to fight through the denial and appeals process. This is not uncommon for people that make SSDI claims.

What if You Were Disabled Months Before Your Application?

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This is common. Often people don’t realize that a symptom of a condition is preventing them from working right away. They may assume it’s temporary or may attempt to work through it. The above advice remains the same, as soon as you think a disability is preventing you from working, you should apply.

This is because your waiting period starts not from your application date but from an established onset date. Additionally, once you are approved to receive benefits, SSDI has to pay any back pay and retroactive pay that may be due. This includes all the time from your application date to your approval date (backpay) and up to 12 months before your application date based on your established onset date (retroactive pay). All of this would be minus the 5-month waiting period.

Read More: Do You Need an SSDI Lawyer?

As an example, say your established onset date is 15 months before your application date and it took you 10 months to get approved. This looks like 25 total months, but first, we would have to add five months to your onset date meaning that your entitlement date (start of your benefits) was 10 months before your application. Since it was 10 months, and not more than the 12 maximum, you are still entitled to all of that 10 months as back pay and retroactive pay for the 10 months from the application date to approval for a total of 20 months.

Can You be on SSDI and Veterans Benefits at the Same Time?

Need Legal Help With Your SSDI Claim?

If you need legal help with your SSDI claim, the team at American Disability Action Group or ADA are here to help. You can reach out to us today for a free consultation. We want to help you get the benefits that you deserve and we look forward to learning about your SSDI case.

Nothing posted on this website is intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice. Blog postings and site content are available for general education purposes only.