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When may you establish a period of disability?

Excerpted from "Social Security Handbook". See the up-to-date, official Social Security Handbook at

509. When may you establish a period of disability?

For title II, you may establish a period of disability if you meet the conditions below:

  1. You file an application either while you are disabled or no later than 12 months after the month in which your period of disability ends; (See §511.)

    Note: A valid application on behalf of a deceased worker may be filed within three months following the month of the worker's death. It is filed by a person who would be qualified for unpaid monthly benefits (see §1902).

  2. You have disability insured status (see §207);

  3. You were disabled before a final decision was made on your application; and

  4. You were disabled for a period of at least five months in a row before you reached full retirement age (or you are exempt from serving a waiting period (see §502)).

Last Revised: Mar. 1, 2004

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