When To Expect Your Disability Check After Approval

So, you’ve finally done what many people haven’t: get your disability claim approved. Great job! But it’s not yet the end of your journey. On the contrary, it is just the start of a long wait before you finally receive your first disability check.

Usually, it takes about a month or two from the date of approval before you get your disability check. In some cases, it can take longer.

Under the law, a six months waiting period between the onset of your disability and when you should get your first payment must also be observed. For example, if your disability started in June 2019, your payment will start in December of that same year.

But most of the time, the approval process itself eats up most of that waiting period. If your claim gets approved fairly quickly, you might have to wait long before you’ll get your hands on your first disability check. The approval notice you get from the SSA will also tell you how much you’re eligible for and when your payment will start.

If you’ve waited for more than 90 days already, you can contact the SSA to follow-up on the status of your claim. Or you can ask your workers compensation lawyer to do it for you. Since they already know the ins and outs of the system and know which people to talk to, the process will be much faster.

SSI payments, on the other hand, begin right away. It’s typically sent on the first day of each month, except when it falls on a Sunday. In such instances, you’ll receive it on the last working day of the previous month.

When to expect your disability check.

Why Disability Checks Are Delayed

Your disability payment schedule depends on your date of birth. People born from the 1st to the 11th of the month receive payments every second Wednesday of the month. If your birthday falls on the 12th until the 20th, you can expect payments every third Wednesday of the month. While those born from the 21st to the 31st will receive their disability checks every last Wednesday.

If your disability check takes longer than your expected date, it could be because of:

  • Outdated Records. If you fail to update the SSA of a change in address or banking details, it can affect your disability payments. The SSA won’t be able to send you the payments if they don’t know where to send it.
  • Backlog in SSA Processing. Due to the huge number of claims, it can take a lot longer for the SSA to process your first payment.
  • Banking Error. If there are changes in the bank account which the SSA will use to send you payments, the agency will give you notice to confirm such before sending your check.

When Will You Receive Backpay?

Because SSDI applications take a long time to get approved, most successful claimants are entitled to backpay. Most of the time, backpays (or the first installment thereof) are sent to your account 60 days after approval. It may also come with your first disability payment. But this doesn’t always happen.

Sometimes, you will receive your backpay much earlier (even before you receive an approval notice). In other cases, it takes longer than two months. This is because SSDI backpays are handled by payment processing centers instead of the SSA office where you applied.

How Will You Receive Your Disability Checks

Since May 2011, the SSA requires that all disability claimants receive their payments electronically. This means that “disability checks” are not literally checks. Rather, you will receive them either through direct deposit to your bank account or the Direct Express card program.

To apply for a Direct Express card account, just call the  Treasury Electronic Payment Solution Contact Center at toll-free 1-800-333-1795. You may also do it at any SSA office nearest you.


Victor Malca Law has over 25 years of litigation experience, we are the most trusted workers’ compensation lawyers in Florida. Our area of expertise is in representing injured workers on compensation benefit cases and disabled individuals claim social security disability benefits.

Our unwavering advocacy for employee rights and privileges are also recognized by our peers. Book a free consultation today.

Judy Ponio is a writer for Victor Malca LawAbout The Author

is a writer for Victor Malca Law P.A. and enjoys helping people with questions about social security, workers compensation, and other serious matters involving people’s livelihood. She is not an attorney and her writing should not be considered legal advice.

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