Being approved for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits can be a lifealtering experience for some people in New Jersey. However, there are often questions about what happens between being approved and actually receiving those SSDI benefits. There is a waiting period before one can actually receive benefits, although there is often some confusion regarding when the waiting period actually begins. 

Why is there a waiting period? 

There is a five-month waiting period to receive SSDI benefits. This waiting period is intended to make sure that an applicant actually has a lasting disability, and is not suffering from a short-term injury or illness from which he or she might quickly recover. There are exceptions to this waiting period, including applicants: 

  • With amyotrophic lateral sclerosis — ALS  
  • Who is going back onto disability after being off for a period of less than five years 
  • Who successfully appeal a denial 

When does the waiting period start? 

This is where things can get tricky. The waiting period does not begin on the day benefits are approved, but from the day one’s disability began. The average SSDI application is processed in approximately 166 days — around five and a half months — which means that many SSDI applicants do not actually have to wait long after being approved. 

When someone in New Jersey is unable to work due to injury, illness or disability, SSDI benefits are often an essential lifeline. These benefits provide necessary financial support for many daily needs. Unfortunately, securing these benefits is not always as straightforward as it should be, which is why it is important to remember that applicants who have been denied can still file for appeals.