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Waiting for your disability benefits

An illness or injury that takes away your ability to do the things you used to do can be frustrating, but it may also rob you of your capacity to earn the money you need to pay your bills and meet your obligations. If you have others who depend on you, they may also suffer if you must leave your job.

Fortunately, you may qualify for funding from various resources that can help you meet your financial obligations. For example, if your illness is expected to last longer than one year and prevent you from holding any gainful employment, you may be eligible for monthly disability benefits from the Social Security Administration. Applying for these benefits can be challenging, and you may wonder how long you will wait before you receive your first check.

The waiting game

The truth is that it can be many months before the SSA approves your application and additional time until your payments begin to arrive. In fact, you may not even qualify to apply until your condition has prevented you from working for one year. Once you submit your application, the SSA may request further information or ask you to submit to a medical exam. You may still wait months or even years before learning if the SSA has accepted your claim for benefits.

If the SSA determines that you are qualified to receive benefits, you will likely wait another five to six months for your first check to arrive. This check may include back payments if there was a delay in the process. However, it is best to submit an application that is as thorough as possible to avoid those delays.

Seeking help

If your condition is one of those on the SSA's list of Compassionate Allowances, your application may skip the long approval process and move to the front of the line. These conditions are those that may have an element of urgency, such as certain aggressive cancers. However, you will still have to wait the required months between approval and receiving your first check.

Even if you are not facing a rapidly advancing illness, you certainly do not want to risk any delays that may leave you with few financial options. This is why many in your situation find peace of mind by enlisting the assistance of a Florida attorney who has experience dealing with the Social Security Administration and its complex processes. To avoid mistakes and delays, it is wise to speak with an attorney as soon as it is evident you will need benefits.

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