The main question many people have about SSDI benefits is how much they are going to get. It’s different for everyone and depends on a lot of factors, so answering that question requires an in-depth look at the case. The second question they ask is when those benefits are going to begin. Fortunately, this is a bit easier to answer in a blanket statement because the Social Security Administration has a set schedule that they use.

The first step is to get approved. That can take time — months or more than a year. After the approval, though, they will look to see when that disability started. Your first benefit will “be paid for the sixth full month” after that date, per the SSA.

For instance, maybe you suffered an injury resulting in disability on June 20, 2019. You would then get that initial benefit to cover December 2019. This is more than six months, but that’s because they only count full months, not the other half of June.

The payment schedule itself focuses on giving you benefits for the previous month, not the upcoming month. In the example above, the benefits are supposed to cover December, based on that injury in June. You would not actually get those benefits in December, but in January of the following year.

As you can see, the specifics of your case still really play into the process and determine not just how much money you receive, but when you receive it. Still, this gives you some idea of the process used and what you should expect. Make sure you’re well aware of the steps you need to take with this complex process.