When Your Benefits Start
Generally, if your application for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is approved, you must wait five months before you can receive your first SSDI benefit payment. This means you would receive your first payment in the sixth full month after the date we find that your disability began.
Example: Your disability began on June 15, 2020 and you applied on July 1, 2020. Your first benefit would be paid for the month of December 2020, the sixth full month of disability.
However, there is no waiting period if your disability results from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and you are approved for SSDI benefits on or after July 23, 2020.
Example: We found that your disability began on November 3, 2020 and you applied on January 11, 2021. We would pay your first benefit for the month of December 2020, the first full month of disability.
We pay SSDI benefits in the month following the month for which they are due. This means that the benefit due for December 2020 would be paid to you in January 2021, and so on.
How Much You Will Receive
The amount of your monthly SSDI benefit is based on your lifetime average earnings covered by Social Security.
If you don't already have an estimate, you can get your Social Security Statement online with your personal my Social Security account or use our Benefit Calculators to determine how much you could get if you became disabled right now.
Other Payments May Affect Your Disability Benefits
If you receive certain other government benefits, such as workers' compensation, public disability benefits, or pensions based on work not covered by Social Security (e.g., some government or foreign employment), the Social Security benefits payable to you and your family may be reduced.
For more information about how these benefits can affect your Social Security payments, please refer to the following publications:
- How Workers' Compensation And Other Disability Payments May Affect Your Benefit;
- Windfall Elimination Provision; or
- Government Pension Offset.
Medicare Coverage If You're Disabled
We automatically enroll you in Original Medicare (Parts A and B) after you get disability benefits for two years. However, if your disability results from ALS, Medicare coverage begins sooner, generally the first month you are eligible for disability benefits.
- Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) helps pay for inpatient hospital stays, care in a skilled nursing facility, hospice care, and some home health care. The taxes you paid while you were working financed this coverage. It’s provided at no cost to you.
- Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) helps pay doctors' services, outpatient care, some medical supplies, and other preventive services. You will need to pay a monthly premium for this coverage if you want it.
Most people have both parts of Medicare. If you have questions about this coverage, you can contact Medicare toll-free at
The Other Parts of Medicare
- Medicare Advantage Plan (previously known as Part C) – people with Medicare Parts A and Part B can choose to receive all of their health care services through plans that are offered by private companies and approved by Medicare. For more information, we recommend you read Medicare's How do Medicare Advantage Plans work?
- Medicare Part D (Medicare prescription drug coverage) helps pay for medications doctors prescribe for treatment. For more information on the enrollment periods for Part D, we recommend you read Medicare's How to get prescription drug coverage page.
If you receive Medicare and have limited resources and income, you may be eligible for Extra Help with Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Costs.
Help for Low-Income Medicare Beneficiaries
If you get Medicare and have low-income and few resources, your state may pay your Medicare premiums and, in some cases, other Medicare costs for which you are normally responsible, such as deductibles and coinsurance.
Only your state can decide if you qualify for this assistance. To find out if you qualify, contact your state or local welfare office or Medicaid agency.
For additional information about the program, please go to the Medicare's Get help paying costs page.