Disability claimants who have been approved to receive Social Security disability insurance benefits are subject to a five-month waiting period before Social Security owes a claimant disability benefits. This means that the Social Security Administration (SSA) will withhold five months of an approved claimant’s past due benefits. The intent of the SSDI five-month waiting period is to allow for the correction or resolution of temporary conditions and to discourage those who can work from electing not to.
The five-month waiting period starts on the claimant’s established onset date, the date that the SSA determines a claimant became disabled. Thus, the date of entitlement to Social Security benefits (when the claimant is owed a monthly payment) does not start until five months after the onset date.
We strongly support the elimination of the five-month waiting period for all SSDI claimants. Most, if not all, disability lawyers understand that the five-month waiting period is not necessary to prevent people who have temporary disabilities from applying, especially in light of the twelve month duration requirement.