What is a date of entitlement?
Date of entitlement refers to the month that you become entitled to a disability benefit. There are different dates of entitlement for the two disability programs (Title II and Title 16) that the Social Security Administration manages for the federal government.
For instance, Title II disability (Social Security Disability) is based on earnings, and your date of entitlement will most likely be the sixth month following the month your earnings are below SGA (SGA stands for substantial gainful activity and if you earn more than the monthly SGA amount for a given year you will not be eligible to receive disability benefits). This delay is typically referred to as "the five month waiting period".
The SSI program (Title 16), which is a need based program, requires no waiting period for those entitled to disability benefits. Consequently, if an individual meets all medical disability requirements and non-medical requirements in the month of filing for disability, the individual will be entitled to receive SSI disability benefits beginning with the month they filed for disability.
About the Author: Tim Moore is a former Social Security Disability Examiner in North Carolina, has been interviewed by the NY Times and the LA Times on the disability system, and is an Accredited Disability Representative (ADR) in North Carolina. For assistance on a disability application or Appeal in NC, click here.
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