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If Social Security determines that I am disabled, how far back will I receive benefits?

If you are awarded disability benefits or disabled widow/widower benefits, the cash benefit starts after a 5 month waiting period (i.e. on the 6th month after the individual becomes disabled). It is also important to note that benefits can’t be paid more than 1 year before the date of the completed application.

If you are awarded childhood disability benefits, the cash benefit starts as of the onset date. However, benefits cannot be awarded for more than 6 months before the date of the completed application.

If you awarded SSI, benefits start at the beginning of the first month following the date of the completed application.

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