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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

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.








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Related pages:

If Am Medically Disabled, Can Social Security Still Turn Me Down for Disability for Some Reason?
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If I apply for disability and my doctor says I am disabled, is there a waiting period to receive benefits?



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?








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.