Frequently Asked Questions: Applying
Do I receive compensation while I wait for my approval?
You will not receive any sort of compensation from the Social Security Administration while you wait for your application to be approved.
Those who are approved for disability benefits typically do get retroactive benefits and/or back pay, but this happens when the case is decided, not before, and the amount varies from case to case.
We recommend that you prepare for the potential loss of income while waiting, as it will likely take months, if not a couple years (or even longer) for your case to be decided by the Social Security Administration.
Some disabled people are able to work while applying for benefits, and the SSA has a guide called the “Red Book” that contains the rules for these situations.
Please note that getting continuing medical care during the application and appeal process is often very important. In many cases, it is a key factor for getting approved, because the SSA will rely on your medical documentation as part of their evaluation process. But also, obviously, getting medical care is important for your health, safety and quality of life, too! Many people worry about the cost of health care, especially when income is tight or nonexistent, but there are low-cost options for healthcare available to many people.