Erisa Lawyer banner

The Social Security disability payment process, or what I like to call “The Land of Oz”

In my dual role, I sometimes feel like Glenda from the Wizard of Oz, as I start a client on their way down the not always golden road through the land of the Wicked. Like Glenda, I “look” in every now and then to make sure that our clients are still on the “yellow brick road” to reach the Land of Oz, or what we call “The Payment Center”!

Like the great face of the “all knowing” Oz, there is a “man behind the curtain” throwing switches and gears. Unfortunately, these persons are not easily accessible and when finally confronted, all sorts of ridiculous reasons why our wish (to receive the retroactive benefits) cannot be granted until yet one more task is done: delaying payment yet again.

So, what should one expect when you have walked the yellow brick road through the haunted forest, dodged flying monkeys, skipped through the poppy fields, where you just want to lay down and give up on finally reaching Oz?  Well, grab Toto and hang onto your ruby red slippers, for it is off to how the payment process really works.

The general length of time for disability payments to be processed is 45 to 60 days. Of course, there are wonderful times when the money is in the bank before we’ve even received the Notice of Decision, and at times there are horror stories of it taking over a year to get payments to the Claimants. But generally, it is 45 to 60 days from the date the favorable decision was made.

This time frame can vary depending on several factors. These factors include: financial eligibility, tax liens, child support orders, defaulted loans that were backed by the government (such as student loans or military loans), and any worker’s compensation that was received during the disability period. Any one of these items may delay payment of the retroactive benefits. So, it is always best to provide any information the SSA requests as quickly as possible. And then, all that will be left to do is click your heels together and say “There is no place like home!”