Denton, TX asked in Social Security for Texas

Q: How is the waiting period for SSA benefits calculated if the claimant is self employed? The specific math.

SSA determined I became disabled July 10, 2015. My SSDI benefits started Jan. 16, although I didn't start receiving the money until March 2017.

I know that SSA says the waiting period for determination is five full months below SGA. However, they asked me for six months of info. What did they do about July, which was the only month I made over the SGA? Did they divide the entire amount by five, or was it six? They asked for full months, not partial months....Something I read stated that the counting actually begins at the first full month, which would be August in this case. Is that true?

I am self employed, so I know that means the SGA was an average $1,090. I made less than $5000 during that time after expenses.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Thomas Carter O'Brien
Thomas Carter O'Brien
  • Social Security Disability Lawyer
  • Marietta, GA

A: The 5-month waiting period is described in CFR § 404.315. The relevant part of the regulation states that benefits will be payable after you have been disabled for FIVE FULL (emphasis added) consecutive months. This five-month waiting period begins with the first full month in which you were both insured for disability and disabled. In you case it appears that Jul-Aug, Aug-Sep, Sep-Oct, Oct-Nov, Nov-Dec are your five months of waiting period (but spans portions of six months - hence their question), with benefits beginning the month thereafter (Jan). If you were determined disabled and your earnings were below SGA, then your earnings will not have affected your DIB benefits.

Your question may also be answered by the relevant POMS DI 10105.001 (the program operations manual), which notes, "A period must be not less than 5 full calendar months duration. For the purpose of this 5-month requirement, a full calendar month includes:[...]The beginning date of an individual's “period of disability” [which] is usually the date of onset of his/her disability."

I hope this helps.

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