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Home » Glossary » Five Month Waiting Period

Definition of Five Month Waiting Period

Many SSDI applicants wonder why they cannot receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) immediately. The Social Security Administration has instituted a five month waiting period to receive benefits. If a claimant is approved for SSDI benefits the SSA will withhold the first five months of payments. The five month waiting period begins on the established date of the claimant's disability, which is called their EOD date. Keep in mind, this date is determined by the SSA after they review your medical records and may be after the date you have listed on your SSDI application. The EOD date, however, can be no more than 17 months before the SSDI application date.

The goal of SSDI is to provide long-term disability benefits to claimants who have a condition which is expected to last at least 12 continuous months. The SSA established the five month waiting period to avoid giving benefits to claimants with a short-term condition. SSDI benefits will start the sixth full month after the date the claimant's disability began. Claimants cannot receive SSDI benefits for any month in the five month waiting period.

There are exceptions to the five month waiting period. For example, if a claimant qualifies for expedited benefits or they are applying for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), they will not be subjected to the five month waiting period.

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