If your application is approved, you will receive your first Social Security benefit check for the sixth full month following the date the Social Security Administration determines your disability began. For example, if your disability began on June 15, 2013, you would begin receiving payment in December 2013, the sixth full month of disability.

Applicants may be eligible to receive retroactive payments for the 12 months prior to the application date, minus a five-month waiting period. Since claims may take time to be reviewed and approved, back pay is often awarded to applicants for the time period between application and approval. This is usually paid in a lump sum, unless the payments are significant.