The Social Security Administration applies a 5-month waiting period. This means that if you are approved for Social Security Disability benefits, a finding will be made regarding the “onset date.” Your onset date is the date that Social Security has determined that you became disabled. You will not receive any benefits for the first 5 months following the onset date. Social Security payments will begin with the 6th full month after your disability began.
For example, Henry is injured in a serious car accident on 01/01/08. He is denied benefits but appeals his case. He attends a hearing on 01/01/10 at which time a Judge determines that he qualifies for benefits. The onset date is established as the date of the car accident, 01/01/08. Henry is entitled to benefits beginning on 06/01/08 because there is a 5-month waiting period. Henry will receive a retroactive payment covering the period from 06/01/08 through the present time and continuing monthly SSD benefits.