Overview of Disability

Disability Back Pay

Disability Requirements

Disability Applications

Disability Advice Tips

How long do cases take?

How to win Disability

SSD Mistakes to avoid

Disability for Mental

What if you get denied?

How to file Appeals

Disability through SSA

SSI Disability Benefits

Disability for Children

How do I qualify for it?

Working and Disability

Disability Award Notice

Disability Lawyer Q&A

Disability Conditions List

What is a disability?

Your Medical Evidence

Filing for your Disability

Disability Eligibility

SSD SSI Definitions

Recent Questions

SSDRC Disability Blog

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.

Return to:  Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions

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?

Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions and in these subsections:

Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits | FAQ on Disability Claim Representation | Info about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | FAQ on Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The SSD SSI Decision Process and what gets taken into consideration | Disability hearings before Judges | Medical exams for disability claims | Applying for Disability in various states | Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers | Applying for Disability in North Carolina | Recent articles and answers to questions about SSD and SSI

These pages provide answers to basic questions about pursuing disability benefits

Disability qualifications - Who will qualify is based on functional limitations
What do you Need to Prove to Qualify for Disability Benefits?
How to file for disability and the information needed by Social Security
What conditions do they Award Disability Benefits for?
How does back pay for Social Security disability work?
What makes you eligible for Social Security Disability or SSI? Part I
To get a Social Security Disability or SSI Award do you have to have a Permanent Disability?
Social Security Disability Status - when should I call to check
Do Lawyers Improve The Chances of Winning Social Security Disability or SSI?
What is qualifying for disability based on?
How to qualify for disability - The Process of Qualifying for Benefits
Receiving a Social Security Disability Award Letter
How long does it take to get disability?
Filing and applying for disability in Texas