Miller Cohen, PLC Detroit Employment Law Attorney
Initial Free Consultation
Local: 313-566-4787
Toll Free: 800-221-6021

Bill would eliminate waiting period for disability benefits

Social Security Disability Insurance helps many Americans make ends meet when illness or injury prevents them from working. But for those who are terminally ill, the disability benefits often come too late. That's because there is a five-month waiting period before an eligible recipient can actually start receiving the benefits. For someone with only a few months to live, that wait may mean never receiving the benefits at all.

The waiting period was originally intended to allow time to make sure an applicant's disability was not simply a short-term health problem. It was also intended to discourage people who could work from applying for Social Security Disability benefits. But for those who are terminally ill, neither of these justifications has any merit.

Now a couple of U.S. Senators are trying to do something about this unacceptable situation. Democrat Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Republican John Barrasso of Wyoming have joined forces in a bipartisan effort to change the law. Under their proposal, if two doctors verify that the applicant has six months or less to live, the waiting period would be eliminated. The patient would initially receive partial benefits of 50 percent in the first month and 75 percent in the second. Beginning with the third month they would receive 100 percent of their benefits. If the patient ends up living longer than a year, there would be a reduction of future benefits to cover the cost of those paid over the first five months.

A person dealing with terminal illness should not have to worry about how they are going to pay the bills. Brown's and Barrasso's proposed law is a humane and reasonable solution to a problem that brings unnecessary stress to families who are already suffering.

Source:, "If you're terminally ill, you still must wait for Social Security benefits," Stephen Koff, Sept. 9, 2015

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
ABA American Bar Association | NELA
Super Lawyers SuperLawyers 2016
Bruce Miller
Richard Mack
Super Lawyers | Rising Stars Rising Stars 2016
Robert Fetter
Andrea Hamm

We handle cases throughout Michigan from our three offices.

Miller Cohen, PLC
7700 Second Avenue,
Suite 335
Detroit, MI 48202

Phone: 313-566-4787
Toll Free: 800-221-6021
Fax: 313-964-4490
Detroit Law Office Map

Dearborn Law Office
22027 Park St.
Dearborn, MI 48124

Dearborn Law Office Map

Miller Cohen, PLC
8200 Old 13 Mile Road
Suite 104
Warren, MI 48093

Phone: 313-566-4787
Warren Law Office Map