Question: I’m thinking about getting disability protection from a private company. If I become disabled and have a private policy, would it reduce my Social Security disability benefit?

Answer: No. Having private insurance does not affect your eligibility for Social Security disability benefits. But you may be interested to know that workers’ compensation and certain other public disability payments may affect your Social Security benefit. You can learn more and even apply for disability benefits at Also, read our publication, “How Workers’ Compensation And Other Disability Payments May Affect Your Benefits,” available at .

Question: I understand that to get Social Security disability benefits, my disability must be expected to last at least a year. Will I have to wait a year to receive benefits?

Answer: No. You do not have to wait a year after becoming disabled to receive disability benefits. In fact, you should apply for disability benefit as soon as you become disabled. It may take months before a final decision is made on your claim. If your application is approved, we will pay your first Social Security disability benefit for the sixth full month after the date your disability began. For example, if your disability began on January 15, we would pay your first disability benefit for the month of July. However, we pay Social Security benefits in the month following the month for which they are due. So, you will receive your July benefit in August. To learn more, visit .


(This column was prepared by the Social Security Administration. For fast answers to specific Social Security questions, contact Social Security toll-free at 800-772-1213 or visit

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