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I won my disability claim! What happens now?

 

A:

Congratulations on winning your claim! 

By law, Social Security disability benefits can be paid only after a worker has been disabled continuously throughout a period of five full calendar months ("waiting period"). The first benefit paid is for the sixth month of disability and is paid in the seventh month. This waiting period ensures that we pay benefits only to persons with long-term disabilities and avoid duplicating other income protection plans (such as employer sick-pay plans) during the early months of disability. To learn more, read the SSA's online publication, Disability Benefits.

The amount you receive on a monthly basis depends on the type of benefits you have been awarded. If you were approved for DIB, your benefits are determined by your past income and tax contributions prior to becoming disabled. If you have been approved for SSI benefits, the government sets the amount and will adjust the amount annually based on inflation.