What is an elimination period for disability?

An elimination period is the amount of time you must be disabled under a disability insurance policy after filing the claim and prior to receiving benefits.

It is the length of time between the date of the beginning of a disabling injury or illness (also known as the onset date) and the day you can begin receiving benefit payments from an insurer.

It can also be known as the waiting period or deductible period.

Elimination Period for SSDI

The elimination period for Social Security Disability is 5 months.

Elimination Period for Short-Term Disability

For a short-term disability policy, the elimination period is generally 0-14 days.

Elimination Period for Long-Term Disability

Many long-term disability policies have a 90-day elimination period, but other periods do exist. Some are 180 days, and others can be much more. 

Generally, a long-term disability policy with a longer elimination period will cost less.  However, if you should become disabled, you will have to go a longer period before payment can begin.

The length of your elimination period can be found in your policy.

Remember, you will not get any benefits for the duration of the elimination period, even though you are disabled.

Loyd J. Bourgeois
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