If Social Security approved your claim for Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, your benefits would never start with the date you became disabled.
This is because the law requires that you wait five full months before you can receive any SSDI benefits. This is commonly called the 5-month wait period. There is no good explanation for this other than the government saw a way to save some money.
So, not only will you wait five months for your benefits to start, but you will also wait 24 months from the date your benefits start to become eligible for Medicare. This is another way for the government to save some money.
We’ll run through an example so you can see what we mean.
- You became disabled on June 12, 2009;
- Add the 5-month wait period, and you are not eligible for benefits until December 1, 2009;
- This means that you become eligible for Medicare on December 1, 2011.
For some people, an application for SSI benefits will fill that 5-month gap with some money. But there are severe financial requirements to be eligible for SSI. — You essentially have to be destitute: you can’t own more than $2000 in liquid assets and must have no or limited family income to qualify.