Social Security Disability applicants often wait months to receive a final decision from the Social Security Administration (SSA) about whether or not they qualify for benefits. Understandably, many of these people are anxious to find out if they have been approved and are eager to begin receiving disability benefits.

However, once an applicant has been approved for SSDI benefits, he or she does not start receiving disability benefits right away. First, the applicant is sent an award letter from the SSA that explains how much the applicant will receive in monthly benefits and when the applicant will be eligible to start receiving those monthly payments.

Payment in arrears

The SSA makes payments in arrears, which means the monthly check a recipient receives is not for the present month but is for the previous month. This setup normally will not affect the timing of a recipient’s payment except for the time when the recipient is waiting for his or her first check.

SSDI mandatory waiting period

For SSDI benefits in particular, the SSA imposes a five-month mandatory waiting period for applicants to start receiving benefits. This waiting period begins at the applicant’s onset date, or the date that the SSA determines the applicant’s disability began. For example, if an applicant became disabled during an accident on April 1st, the soonest he or she would be eligible to start receiving SSDI benefits would be October. The extra month in that period reflects time it takes to earn benefits under the payment in arrears system.

The waiting period can seem daunting to potential SSDI applicants. One thing to keep in mind is that the waiting ph2h2eriod has often already passed by the time applicants are approved for benefits because the process takes so long to become approved for disability benefits.

Amount of SSDI benefits

SSDI benefits are special in the sense that they are based on an applicant’s average lifetime earnings before his or her disability began. They are not based on how serious the applicant’s disability is or how much income the applicant has.

If an applicant is approved for SSDI benefits, the monthly benefits he or she will receive will be based on the amount of income the applicant earned prior to becoming disabled and how much the applicant worked in recent years. Most SSDI recipients receive between $700 and $1,700 a month. In 2015 the average monthly payment among all SSDI recipients is $1,165.

Direct deposit for SSDI

In the past, the SSA gave disability recipients the option of signing up to have their monthly checks directly deposited into their checking accounts. This was a great choice for benefit recipients as it was the safest and quickest way to receive their monthly payments.

The SSA now requires recipients to receive their monthly benefits electronically. Recipients can choose to receive their benefits through direct deposit or through a program called Direct Express, where the benefits are placed on a pre-paid debit card.

If you are seeking assistance with obtaining SSD benefits and are applying for the first time, or have been denied SSDI benefits, consider the law office of Attorney Neil H. Good for your representation. Contact us online for a free case evaluation, or call #(847) 577-4476.