How to file for disability, Filing for SSI
Disability Requirements, Disability Status
How long is the wait?, Disability Application
The Social Security List of Impairments
Qualifying for Disability, Mental Disability
Disability Lawyer Info, Disability Back Pay

Is there a waiting period for SSI or SSDI?

Upon being accepted for SSI disability benefits and waiting the required 5 months before actually receiving benefits, will I receive any benefits for the 5 month waiting period?

In actuality, there is no five month benefit waiting period for SSI disability. The waiting period only applies to the title II program, which is SSDI, Social Security Disability insurance.

And it is a misnomer to say a person actually "waits". Basically, SSA will determine when a person became disabled based on the medical records. Whenever that date is, SSA will determine how much back pay a person is owed but eliminate the first five months of benefits owed.

There are actually a couple of waiting periods that apply to Social Security Disability and not SSI. The first is the 5 month waiting that is analogous to an elimination period for a private insurance policy. No one really understands the logic of this waiting period to be frank, and there doesn't seem to be any clear rationale for it. If the reasoning is that claimants have other resources to draw upon, such as a short-term disability policy, the truth is that most, practically all, do not. Even the Social Security Administration does not provide this for its own employees.

The other waiting period that is unique to SSDI is the 2 year waiting period that applies to medicare. Again, this does not apply to SSI since SSI recipients do not get get medicare, but, instead, receive medicaid.

The wait for medicare is called a two year wait, but most claimants who get approved for SSDI do not actually have to wait 2 years after being approved for their medicare to kick in. This is because the two year wait starts from the time a person is actually eligible to get SSDI benefits. Usually, this is a date that is in the past and, thus, the two year wait is often "served", in whole or part, by the time a person is notified of an approval.

To reiterate, this occurs because of several reasons: 1) When claimants apply and are asked when their condition became disabling, this is typically many months or even years in the past; 2) Claims tend to drag on for months, if not years because the majority of claimants are denied and have to file a number of appeals before they get their benefits awarded. Also, of course, is the fact that SSDI does have retroactive benefits which is not the same as back pay but which can add to the total amount of back pay a person might end up receiving.

Essentially, most individuals will not have to wait 2 years for medicare if they get approved for SSDI disability.

Essential Questions

What is the Social Security Disability SSI list of impairments?

Can you work while getting or applying for Disability?

How Often Does Social Security Approve Disability The First Time You Apply?

Tips for getting Social Security Disability or SSI benefits approved

What medical conditions will get you approved for disability?

What kind of Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?

Receiving a Disability Award Letter

Conditions Social Security will recognize as a disability

Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI

Applying for disability in your state

Most popular topics on SSDRC.com

Social Security Disability SSI Questions

The listings, list of disabling impairments

Can a mental illness qualify you for disability?

Disability Lawyers prevent unnecessary denials

How much Social Security Disability SSI back pay?

How to apply for disability for a child or children

Filing a Social Security Disability SSI application

Filing for disability - when to file

How to apply for disability - where to apply

Qualifications for disability benefits

How to Prove you are disabled and Win your Disability Benefits

Qualifying for Disability - The Process

How to get disability for depression

Getting disability for fibromyalgia

SSI disability for children with ADHD

What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?

Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability

Social Security Disability SSI Exam tips

More Social Security Disability SSI Questions

Social Security Disability SSI definitions

What makes you eligible for Social Security Disability or SSI?

New and featured pages on SSDRC.com

Who can help me file for disability?

Related pages:

The Social Security Medicare 24 Month Waiting Period
Disability beneficiaries will not in some cases receive Medicare immediately
Do I automatically receive Medicare benefits if I'm approved for disability
If You Get Approved For SSDI Will You Also Get Medicare?
If you get Social Security Disability benefits do you get Medicare or Medicaid?

These pages provide answers to basic questions about pursuing disability benefits

Can you get temporary Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?

Permanent Social Security Disability

What is the difference between Social Security Disability and SSI?

Who is eligible for SSI disability?

Can I Be Eligible For SSI And Social Security Disability At The Same Time?

What makes a person eligible to receive disability benefits?

Applying for Disability - How long does it take to get Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?

What happens if I file a disability application and it is denied by a disability examiner or Judge?

Filing and applying for disability in Texas

For the sake of clarity, SSDRC.com is not the Social Security Administration, nor is it associated or affiliated with SSA. This site is a personal, private website that is published, edited, and maintained by former caseworker and former disability claims examiner, Tim Moore, who was interviewed by the New York Times on the topic of Social Security Disability and SSI benefits in an article entitled "The Disability Mess" and also by the Los Angeles Times on the subject of political attempts to weaken the Social Security Disability system.

The goal of the site is to provide information about how Social Security Disability and SSI work, the idea being that qualified information may help claimants pursue their claims and appeals, potentially avoiding time-consuming mistakes. If you find the information on this site helpful and believe it would be helpful to others, feel free to share links to its homepage or other pages on website resource pages, blogs, or social media. Copying of this material, however, is prohibited.

To learn more about the author, please visit the SSDRC.com homepage and view the "about this site" link near the bottom of the page.