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

If I apply for disability and my doctor says I am disabled, is there a waiting period to receive benefits?

If I am designated disabled by a doctor and I am applying for SS disability benefits, is there any waiting period from the time of becoming disabled?

Social Security disability is based upon two things: having at least one severe medical impairment AND the inability to work at a level considered to be SGA or substantial gainful activity. To see the current amount for SGA earnings, click here: How much can you earn and still get Social Security Disability?

If you meet the medical criteria for disability and have stopped working, or your earnings have been reduced to an amount below the SGA limit in effect for the year in question, you will be considered disabled and eligible to receive ongoing monthly disability benefits.

Regarding waiting periods, all Social Security disability applicants have a five month waiting period, even if they have been determined disabled by a doctor. This waiting period is similar in concept to an elimination period on a private insurance policy.

Why does the Social Security waiting period exist? My guess would be that it was cost-savings mechanism. It basically serves the purpose of confiscating an approved claimant's first five months of disability benefits.

How does the five month waiting period work? Your disability benefits will begin with the six month following the month you became disabled, according to the determination rendered by the Social Security Administration (please bear in mind that this may not be the same date that you allege on your initial disability claim as the EOD, or established date of onset must be proven by the medical evidence and vocational evidence that is accumulated.

If you are filing for SSI disability, the SGA limit (the limit on how much you can work and earn while still remaining eligible to receive disability benefits) applies, but there is no waiting period. If you filed for SSI and are found disabled, then your disability benefits entitlement date is controlled by your date of filing.

I hope this is helpful.

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

Related pages:

If Am Medically Disabled, Can Social Security Still Turn Me Down for Disability for Some Reason?
How will Social Security find you disabled?
When is a Person Considered Fully Disabled by Social Security?
Being Determined Medically Disabled for Social Security Disability
How Does Social Security Decide If You Are Disabled Or Not?
What makes you disabled for SSD, Social Security Disability Benefits, OR SSI?
How Disabled Must You be to get Social Security Disability Approved?
How Disabled Do You Have To Be To Collect Social Security Disability or SSI?
If I apply for disability and my doctor says I am disabled, is there a waiting period to receive benefits?

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

What is qualifying for disability based on?
What do you Need to Prove to Qualify for Disability Benefits?
Social Security Disability Status - when should I call to check
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition?
What are the SSI disability qualifications for Adults and Children?
How Likely are You to Win Your Disability Case?
What Can I Do to Improve My Chances of Winning Disability Benefits?
Working while getting Disability - Is it Possible?
What is Social Security Back Pay?
What is the maximum back pay you can get for Social Security disability?