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The waiting period

The typical waiting period for Social Security approval of an individual's claim may take many months. If a person has little or no savings or assets, he or she may not have sufficient funds to meet their living expenses. Some people may have family or friends from whom to seek help.

There are some assistance programs that may help to bridge the waiting period "gap".

There is a six-month waiting period from the date of disability before one's funds begin to accumulate. Once an application is approved, there is usually a check for retroactive accumulated funds.

However, Social Security has a limit on retroactive funds paid to an older disability date. But there is no waiting period before you apply—you should apply as soon as you are no longer able to work.