How Long Does It Take to Get Disability Checks After Approval?

How Long Does It Take to Get Disability Checks After Approval?

In an ideal world, those too ill to work would receive their first month of benefits and back pay immediately after being approved for Social Security Disability Insurance. Sadly, about 53% of applications are denied, and approved claimants often wait months or even years before they see a single check. Continue reading to find out why this happens and how a Shook & Stone disability attorney can help you avoid this mess during the application process.

Why Does It Take So Long to Get the First Check?

There are several reasons that it takes so long to get the first of your disability checks. To name a few, the application process for SSDI, the waiting period, the increasing demand for disability benefits, and the number of appeals filed after claim denials all contribute to an extensive waiting game for claimants. These are explained in greater detail below.

Understanding the Difference Between SSDI and SSI

The length of time it takes to receive your first disability check depends on whether you qualified for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). In most cases, SSI yields more immediate distributions. Once you’re approved, you’ll start getting checks without delay.

If you were approved for SSDI, expect to wait a while for your benefits. This type of benefit is processed differently and requires you to wait five months after the onset of your disability before you can start receiving checks. Fortunately, the application process is already long and drawn out, so this waiting period is usually over by the time a claim is approved.

The Growing Demand for SSDI

In addition to the waiting period and the lengthy application process, there is a growing demand for disability benefits among the Baby Boomer generation and those whose chronic mental problems, cancer, or other debilitating health conditions make them reliant on disability checks as their main source of income. Approximately a million people are waiting on their disability benefits all over the United States as their claims await approval. This high demand has resulted in an even lengthier application process for all.

A High Number of Appeals

Disabled Women Doing PaperworkOnly 47% of SSDI claims are approved, but denied claimants usually don’t give up after one rejection — especially when they have a legitimate disability and are wrongfully rejected. After a denial, a claimant can submit a Request for Reconsideration, in which the Social Security Administration (SSA) re-reviews the individual’s case. The appeals process can take two to three months, which adds more time onto the waiting period of the disabled individuals who are waiting on benefits to get them through their sickness.

When Will Disability Checks Be Deposited?

When the wait is over, usually a month or two after approval, you will finally get your first monthly disability check, but it may be a while until your back pay comes through (the money you missed in the months between approval and your first check). If you haven’t received a payment after three months, contact the SSA.

Disability Checks Calendar

Before 1997, checks usually arrived on the third day of the month through snail mail. Today, claims are distributed via direct deposit based on your birthday. If your date of birth falls on one of the first 10 days of the month, you’ll receive your payment on the second Wednesday of the month. Those who have birthdays on a day between the 11th and the 20th will get their payout on the third Wednesday of the month. Birthdays falling on a day between the 21st and the 30th receive payment on the fourth Wednesday of the month.

Visit for more information on the distribution of disability benefits.

Why Hire a Disability Attorney to Help?

Millions of people all over the country depend on government funding to survive when they become ill or disabled. These are the same people who usually end up waiting up to two years to get their first check, which can create an impossible financial situation and make an already-hard time even harder.

If you have been wrongfully denied Social Security disability payments or your payments have not begun three months after approval, get a lawyer from Shook & Stone on your side. Our Las Vegas-based attorneys can help you successfully navigate the application process and help you avoid the costly mistakes that end in denied claims. We’ll make sure you get the results you need and the benefits you deserve. We can also handle red tape formalities that accompany government matters, ensuring that your delayed payments and/or rejections are dealt with quickly and effectively.

Are you waiting on a disability check or wanting to start an application or appeal? If so, get in touch with Shook & Stone for assistance. Our seasoned attorneys are here to make sure the SSA plays fair.