Are you beginning or working on your application for SSDI? If so, you should be aware of the waiting period that occurs before you receive disability payments. Social security disability has a period between when you actually become disabled and when you start receiving checks.

1. It's Always Five Months

The social security disability waiting period begins five months after you have been determined to be disabled. This five months holds true regardless of your type of disability and your current financial situation. However, the application process for social security may take much longer. Sometimes it can take up to two or three years. 

2. The Clock Begins When Your Doctor Says It Does

When you fill out your application, your doctor will tell you when he or she believes you actually became disabled. It is this date of disability that is used to count off the next five months. If you believe that you were diagnosed incorrectly -- and were actually disabled earlier than this -- you can ask another doctor for a second opinion.

3. You Can Fast Track the Actual Application

If you have a terminal diagnosis or a condition that is likely to become terminal, you can fast track the application. A fast tracked application will only take weeks rather than potentially months or even years. However, fast tracking the application does not affect the actual waiting period. It just ensures you won't need to wait more than the standard five month waiting period to get your pay.

4. It Can Be Paid Back Retroactively Up to the Waiting Period

If your application takes longer than five months, you will receive retroactive pay once your application goes through. In other words, if you become disabled in January and your application takes twelve months to process, you will receive back pay for a total of seven months in December. Again though, the waiting period always applies -- if your waiting period is shorter than five months, this doesn't mean you get paid before the five months are up.

A social security disability attorney like Craig H Kline Law Office can tell you more about the waiting period and what you should do as you wait. For many, the waiting period can be problematic because they have already stopped working and collecting benefits. For some, however, workers compensation or other financial aid can be used to bridge the gap.