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What is the Social Security Disability freeze?

If you have suffered an injury or a medical condition that leaves you incapable of working, then you likely know the financial strain that can arise. Without steady income, it may be difficult for you to pay rent or mortgage, buy groceries, keep the utilities on and adequately take care of your family. This can be frustrating, particularly because this can all arise at no fault of your own. Fortunately, Social Security disability benefits may be able to help you find financial stability, but there are a lot of different aspects of this program that should be understood.

For example, you may have heard of the disability freeze, but what is it? The disability freeze works to eliminate years where you earned low or no income caused by your disability from being considered when calculating other benefits. If the disability freeze did not kick in, then your years of low income could significantly reduce the benefits, such as standard Social Security, when the time comes to apply for them.

To qualify for the disability freeze, certain requirements must be met. First, you must be considered to have disability insured status. Second, you must be sure to file the proper application with the Social Security Administration. Third, you must be able to provide proof, many times through medical documentation, that your disability exists. And lastly, you must serve the waiting period provided by law, which currently stands at five months.

The disability freeze, which can be complicated in its own right, is only a small piece of the Social Security disability picture. So, if you are considering filing for benefits or need help better understanding what you currently receive, then you may want to think about contacting a legal professional.

Source: Social Security Administration, "DI 10105.005," accessed on Oct. 11, 2015

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Alan E. DeWoskin, P.C.
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