Timeline for Benefits

Disability applicants are living under financial strain and probably want to know when they will start receiving benefits. Supplemental Security Income and Social Security disability benefits programs have many parts and requirements, so the Social Security Administration gives a broad idea of when you can start getting your benefits checks.

This page is an overview of the steps and waiting periods towards getting disability checks. This article is not meant to replace the advice of an attorney who is experienced in disability claims. If you find that your claim has been denied, you need a disability lawyer from the Coye Law Firm to pursue benefits on your behalf. 

Waiting Period

In order to have a condition, injury, or illness that is considered "disabling," the SSA requires that the ailment persist for at least five months before a person is approved to receive benefits. The administration wants to ensure that they pay benefits to people who are dealing with long-term disabilities. Immediately after you meet this requirement, apply for disability. You won't be able to apply for benefits before being disabled for five months, and that is a long time to wait for money that pays for essential resources. Don't delay your application after this waiting period ends.

Initial Application

The SSA states on its website that applicants can wait anywhere from three to five months to get a decision on their disability claim. The approval or denial of a disability claim depends on the nature of the disability, how fast the SSA gets paperwork from your doctor, and whether or not they require additional information on your application. If you are approved, you will get a Notice of Award letter in the mail that explains your benefits. If you are denied, you need to begin an appeal immediately.

Getting a Disability Check

After the Social Security Administration determines the date your disability started, they can decide when to start paying benefits. With the waiting period, this means you can get benefits for as soon as the sixth month after you become disabled. This isn't always the case, however. If your medical records show that your disability didn't meet the SSA's requirements until a later date, then you may have to wait longer for a benefit check. 


If your disability claim is denied, you have 60 days to appeal the decision. Applicants should keep track of this deadline, otherwise they will have to apply all over again if they want benefits in the future. You can avoid the headache and stress of appealing a denied claim by hiring an experienced disability lawyer. The Coye Law Firm's attorneys are familiar with the process and often get benefits for claimants in the first stage of the appeals process.

The bottom line on a timeframe for disability benefits is that it all depends on your claim. To get a better idea of when your payments will start, pay attention to dates and deadlines listed on letters from the Social Security Administration. You can also call a representative at 1-800-772-1213 to ask specific questions.

Legal Assistance

After the five month waiting period, at least three months for approval, and any problems along the way, you could wait nearly a year for benefits. Apply as soon as you qualify in order to get a benefit check as soon as possible. If you find a denial letter in the mail, call the Coye Law Firm immediately. You have to appeal a decision quickly to get benefits. Call our firm today to get your claim approved and paid by Social Security.