If you apply for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits (SSDI or DIB), you may be surprised that Social Security keeps the first 5 months of back benefits.
This is referred to as the “5 month waiting period.”
If you awarded benefits back to January 1st, Social Security actually keeps the benefits for January, February, March… all the way through May. Your disability insurance benefits will start in June.
What?!?! But, it is my money!
I know! But, that is how the system works!
However, there is an exception to the 5 month waiting period.
Bear with me while I go over some basics: Disability Insurance benefits can only be paid 12 months prior to the Protected Filing Date (PFD).
If your PFD is January 2014, at most you can get benefits back to January 2013. If your Alleged Onset Date (AOD) is January 2013, Social Security applies the 5 month waiting period (keeping your benefits for January through May) and your benefits begin to paid as of June 2013.
Here is the exception to the Social Security disability benefits 5 month waiting period: if your Alleged Onset Date (AOD) is 5 months or more BEFORE the 12 month maximum back payment period, you do not lose 5 months of benefits?
What? Go over that part again.
Let me put it another way. If your Alleged Onset Date is 17 (or more) months before the protected filing date (PFD), you are eligible to get the maximum 12 months of back benefits prior to the Protected Filing Date.
Just keep in mind that you cannot just pick a date 17 months before you applied as your Alleged Onset Date (AOD) and leave it at that. You have to prove you were disabled back to the Alleged Onset Date. The further back you have to prove your disability, the more difficult your case becomes.