When residents of California are awarded Social Security benefits, they may wonder when they can expect to start receiving payments. The amount of time between approval of a claim and the first payment varies by case, but is usually longer if the case went to hearing before approval.

When disability claims are approved on the initial claim or an appeal, they are immediately sent to the local Social Security office. That is where the claim is put into pay status, so the claimant usually receives payment in the month they are entitled to being receiving benefits. That month might be at some point in the future because there is a mandatory five-month waiting period for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits do not have this waiting period.

When a case goes to a hearing, getting payments after approval usually takes longer. This is because the judge’s decision must be put into writing by a writer, and then it is sent to the judge for approval. When the judge approves the written decision, it is sent for payment processing.

The Social Security Administration says that it strives to improve wait times for payments and that it is aware of the need for SSDI and SSI recipients to receive their payments as quickly as possible.

Eligibility for Social Security disability benefits is based on work history as well as disability. In order to qualify, a disabled person must have worked for a certain amount of time, which varies depending on the age of the worker. Supplemental Security Income is another type of Social Security that has no relation to work history, but is available to the elderly, people with blindness and people with disabilities who meet income requirements.