It can often take months or even years for a decision to be made on a Social Security Disability (SSD) application. This is due to backlogs in the system and to lengthy disability review processes.
If your application is approved after a significant delay, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will likely owe you months of back pay benefits. These benefits may be issued in one large payment or they may be paid in installments.
If they are paid in one large benefit check, this is known as a “lump sum payment.” If the dollar figure of back pay benefits is quite large, the SSA may make installment payments instead. Installment payments are made six months apart in a series of three checks.If you are approved for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits only, back pay benefits are typically paid as a lump sum.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits may be paid as a lump sum or in installments, depending upon how much the SSA owes you.