How Long Can I Receive Disability Benefits For?

Published on: June 23, 2015

Disability Benefits How LongOnce you are approved for disability benefits (whether it’s SSDI or SSI), the payment process begins. Be aware that it may take a certain amount of time after you are approved for benefits until payments come into effect and are actually issued to you. As dictated by the SSA, your payments aren’t able to begin until you’ve been disabled for at least 5 full months (this does not apply to those filing as children of workers). This means the SSA will start paying for the 6th full month after the disability date started. This waiting period applies only to SSDI and not to SSI benefits.

If you’re seeking disability benefits, you may be wondering how long the payments will last once you are approved to receive them.

We will be covering that on top of how you’ll actually be paid by the SSA so you know what to expect.

So, How Long?

Your disability benefits will continue “as long as your medical condition has not improved and you cannot work.” There are specific circumstances where you can get benefits quicker if you have a condition in the SSA’s Blue Book, but you are still required to fill out an application. In some cases, if you are “presumptively disabled or blind,” you can receive payments for “up to 6 months while the formal disability determination is made (SSI only).” This is on a case-by-case basis, so be sure to contact an expert disability advocate to evaluate your case and situation.

However, the SSA makes it clear that benefits “will not necessarily continue indefinitely.” In the event of an illness or extenuating circumstance that could bring about a disability, rehabilitation techniques are extremely advanced and people have been shown to make great progress from accidents and other medical conditions that previously rendered them disabled indefinitely. In addition, benefits cannot be terminated solely on the basis of improvements in medical technology.

That said, the SSA will conduct periodic check-ups to make sure your disability is still ongoing. If anything changes in your condition or your work status, you are responsible for contacting them.

Receiving Payments

Receiving payments electronically from Social Security has become mandatory as of March of 2013. Otherwise, there is a Direct Express® card program—it’s much like a prepaid Visa, in which federal payments are directly disbursed into the card.

Of course, there are some instances where you receive checks by mail, but ensure that you have the right address on file with Social Security, or it could be delayed for a considerable amount of time.

Key Takeaway

We hope this was educational on the point that you aren’t guaranteed an unlimited amount of payments; once you’re approved, payments continue until your disability status changes.

If you’ve stopped receiving payments, haven’t received a check after being approved or if you disagree with a determination the SSA has made, please contact one of our disability representatives today. We are available and ready to help with your application process and appeals.

Here at Disability Experts of Florida, we never turn a case away on the premise that it is too complicated or lack of time. While we may not always be able to help you, we are dedicated and willing to point you in the right direction. Call us today for more information on how we can help your or a loved one!


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