Social Security Q&A: Disability

McClatchy-Tribune News Service (MCT)

Published: Monday, May 5 2014 12:00 a.m. MDT

In this Friday, Jan. 11, 2013 file photo, the Social Security Administration's main campus is seen in Woodlawn, Md.

Patrick Semansky, Associated Press

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Q: Is there a time limit on how long you can get Social Security disability benefits?

A: No. Your disability benefits will continue as long as your medical condition has not improved, and you cannot work. We will periodically review your case to determine if you continue to be eligible. If you are still receiving disability benefits when you reach your full retirement age, your disability benefits will automatically be converted to retirement benefits. The amount you receive will remain the same. Learn more about disability benefits at

Q: Why is there a five-month waiting period for Social Security disability benefits?

A: Social Security provides only long-term disability, so we can only pay benefits after you have been disabled continuously for a period of five full calendar months. Social Security disability benefits begin with the sixth full month after the date your disability began. You are not entitled to benefits for any month during the waiting period. Learn more at our website:


(This column was prepared by the Social Security Administration. For fast answers to specific Social Security questions, contact Social Security toll-free at 800-772-1213 or visit


©2014 Social Security Administration

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Distributed by MCT Information Services


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