WHAT IS THE FIVE MONTH WAITING PERIOD?
WHAT IS THE FIVE MONTH WAITING PERIOD FOR SSD BENEFITS?
There is a five month waiting period in every Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) case. It applies to everyone with very few exceptions. Even if you file for SSDI benefits on the same day you became unable to work and the SSA granted your case the same week. You would still have to wait five months in order to start being paid monthly SSD payments. Your first benefit check won’t arrive until the sixth full month after your onset date.
Most people, however, are not granted benefits within the first week of filing their SSD application. The SSA takes a long time to decide whether or not they can pay you benefits. They will send you forms to fill out. Next, they collect your medical records and perhaps send you to one of their doctors for an exam.
Most people have to go through a couple of appeals and have a hearing. Therefore, it can take up to 2 years to win benefits. Most people who file for an application for benefits will end up getting past due SSD benefits. Of course, the five month waiting period will still apply to the past due benefits.
THE TWO TYPES OF SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS
There are two types of Social Security benefits: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. You can file an application online at the Social Security’s website for either one or both. Below, you can find an explanation as to each type of benefit you can apply for:
SSDI benefits are for those who can no longer work due to a medical condition. The amount of money you will receive from SSDI benefits is based on the taxes you paid during your working years. To qualify for SSDI, you must have earned enough “work credits” to qualify. A work credit is an amount of taxable income. You can earn up to 4 work credits per year. The amount of work credits you will need will depend on how old you are when you apply. If you haven’t earned enough work credits at the time you apply, then you will only be able to file for SSI benefits.
SSI is a needs based benefit. It is for only those people with little to no income, such as children and the elderly. Anyone who makes more than a certain amount of money per month cannot receive SSI benefits. The SSA counts the income of those in your house, not just your income and assets. If you have a spouse who earns more than $4000 a month, then that income will prevent you from getting SSI benefits. The same applies if you are living with a boyfriend and he is paying your bills. You cannot get SSI benefits, no matter how severe your medical condition, if you do not meet the income and asset rules for SSI.
DOES THE FIVE MONTH WAITING PERIOD APPLY TO BOTH TYPES OF BENEFITS?
The answer is NO!
The waiting period does not apply to both types of benefits.
Instead, the five month waiting period only applies to SSDI benefits. So, if you work your whole life and pay your taxes and then become disabled, you will have waiting period. You will have to wait five months before you can get any SSD payments.
But, if you never work and the SSA finds that you have a severe medical condition that prevents you from working, then you will not have a waiting period. You will only be able to apply for SSI benefits. People who receive SSI benefits do not have a five month waiting period. Their SSI benefits begin on the day they apply.
One thing to remember, when you think about how unfair this appears is that SSI benefits do not go back in time. So, for example, you can only get SSI benefits from the day you file your SSI application. SSDI benefits, however, can go back one year prior to the application date as long as you were not working.
ANY EXCEPTIONS TO THE 5 MONTH WAITING PERIOD?
Yes, there are exceptions to the five month waiting period. For example, the five month waiting period does not apply if ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease. Your SSDI benefits can begin on the date of your application for benefits.