January 28, 2010

Social Security’s 5-Month Waiting Period for Disability Benefits

waiting time.JPGAfter Indianapolis Social Security Disability Attorney Scott D. Lewis wins his client’s disability claim, he often finds himself explaining to the claimant why their benefits will not start immediately from their onset date. Although he’s not certain why the Social Security Administration (SSA) has a waiting period, he attempts to explain to his clients when they can expect their benefits to begin. Social Security claimants that are awarded Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefts, must wait five (5) consecutive full calendar months from the determined onset date of their disability. After the 5 month waiting period, the SSA will begin disability payments with the earliest full calendar month but not more than seventeen (17) months before the claimant filed their disability claim.

For example, if the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) decided that the claimant became disabled on April 15, 2009, after the five month waiting period, benefits would begin on October 1, 2009.

Another example, if the claimant filed for disability on January 1, 2009, but alleged to be disabled since May of 2007, if the ALJ finds that the alleged onset date is correct, he is only allowed to grant an onset date 17 months prior to the filing date. So in this case, the actual onset date would be August 1, 2007. After the five month waiting period, this particular claimant would begin benefits on January 1, 2008.

There are a few exceptions to this waiting period. Claimants that were previously entitled to disability beneftis and their disability benefits ended, but then they became disabled again within 5 years of their benefits ending, they would not need to exercise the waiting period. There is no waiting period for claimants that filed for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits or for claimants that are entitled to Childhood Disability Benefits.

If you are disabled and meet the disability insured status requirements for benefits purposes, you should expect to wait 5 months before your benefits begin. You are not entitled to benefits during this waiting period.

If you or someone you know has filed a Social Security disability claim and has been denied, contact Attorney Scott Lewis for a free consultation at (317) 423-8888. Scott is an experienced Social Security disability lawyer that would gladly discuss your Social Security disabiltiy claim with you. Call now!

Filed under:Social Security Disability Benefits Claims Process
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