Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)

The SSDI Benefit

If Social Security approves your SSDI benefits application, your monthly SSDI cash benefits will be based on your Social Security earnings record. The Social Security Administration (SSA) uses a complicated formula to figure out what your monthly SSDI benefits amount will be. Generally, the more you’ve worked and the more you’ve paid in Social Security taxes, the higher your SSDI benefits will be.

Dependents' Benefits

When you qualify for SSDI benefits, your children under age 19 may also qualify to receive benefits based on your record. It doesn't matter whether the child has a disability. Your spouse may also be able to get benefits if 62 or older or if caring for a child under 16. Social Security has more information about these benefits.

Your qualifying child or spouse will get these benefits in any month you get an SSDI benefit. Read more about what months you and your dependents will get a benefit in SSDI and Work.

When Will My SSDI Benefits Start?

If you become eligible for SSDI benefits, you won’t get SSDI cash benefits for the first 5 full months after the onset of your disability. This is called the waiting period.


If SSA decides that your disability began on January 15 (your onset date), February, March, April, May, and June would be your 5-month waiting period.

You would be paid your 1st SSDI benefits payment for the month of July, but because Social Security benefits are paid in the month after they are due, you would get your July benefits payment in August.

You would continue to get SSDI benefits payments as long as you meet all SSDI work and eligibility requirements and Social Security continues to consider you to be disabled.

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