If you participated in the Social Security Disability program and need to file for benefits again, you will want to understand the five-year rule.
You may have faster access to benefits than you think.
What is the five-year rule?
The Social Security Administration allows individuals to bypass the required waiting period after ending benefits and access payments again. It applies to people who received Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security benefits, stopped receiving them, sustained a mental or physical disability and need to get back on the program within a span of five years.
What are the benefits?
If your income falls below the threshold required to access SSDI or SSI benefits during that five-year period, you can continue the monthly payments you previously received without going through the application process again.
The SSA established this rule to support people with disabilities who want to attempt reentering the workforce without fear of losing their benefits in case it does not work out.
How do you qualify for SSDI benefits?
To qualify for SSDI benefits, you must have medical records showing that you have one of the medical conditions defined as a disability by the SSA. You must prove you cannot work for one year because of your liability. Finally, you must have a long enough work history and paid sufficient Social Security taxes to qualify.
The application process for SSDI can take a long time and be tedious. The five-year rule removes a heavy burden for many people in need.