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Waiting Period

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

502. Waiting Period

502.1 What is the "waiting period?"

The waiting period consists of five (5) full calendar months in a row. It begins with the earliest full calendar month (but not more than 17 months before the month you filed the application) that you:

  1. Are disabled; and

  2. Meet the disability insured status requirements for benefit purposes. (See §207.)

You are not entitled to benefits for any month in the waiting period.

502.2 When is the waiting period NOT required?

No waiting period is required if any of the following conditions are met:

  1. You were previously entitled to a period of disability and became disabled again within five years following the month your previous disability ended; or

  2. You are entitled to Childhood Disability Benefits; or

  3. You only filed for SSI benefits.

Last Revised: Jan. 30, 2006

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