The Waiting Period for a Disability Insurance Policy

Shawn Plummer

CEO, The Annuity Expert

The Waiting Period for a Disability Insurance Policy

What is the Waiting Period in a Disability Insurance Policy?

The waiting period in a disability insurance policy, often referred to as the elimination period, is the duration between the onset of a disability and the commencement of benefit payments. This period can range from 30 days to several months, depending on the policy’s terms.

Examples of Waiting Periods:

  • A 30-day waiting period: Benefits start after 30 days of disability.
  • A 90-day waiting period: A common period where benefits begin after three months.
  • A 180-day waiting period: This longer period usually results in lower premiums.
Disability Insurance Waiting Period

Factors Influencing Waiting Period Length:

  1. Policyholder’s Profession: High-risk professions might have different waiting period terms.
  2. Policy Cost: Shorter waiting periods typically lead to higher premiums.
  3. Income Replacement Needs: Those with sufficient emergency funds may opt for longer waiting periods.

Impact of Waiting Period on Policyholders:

  • Shorter periods provide quicker financial support but at a higher cost.
  • Longer waiting periods require personal financial planning to cover the gap.
The Waiting Period For A Disability Insurance Policy


Understanding the waiting period in disability insurance is crucial for choosing the right policy. It balances the need for timely financial support against the cost of premiums. Assessing personal financial readiness to handle varying lengths of waiting periods is essential.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the waiting period for a disability insurance policy?

The waiting period for a disability insurance policy, or the elimination period, is when a disability occurs and when benefit payments start. This period can vary by policy, typically 30 to 90 days, but some policies may have shorter or longer waiting periods.

Why does disability make you wait five months?

The 5-month waiting period for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a buffer to ensure the disability is long-term. This prevents the system from being overwhelmed with short-term claims and ensures that benefits are provided to those with conditions expected to last a significant duration or result in death.

What’s the fastest you can get approved for disability?

The fastest one can get approved for disability depends on the case’s specifics. Some individuals with severe conditions can be approved in weeks under the Social Security Administration’s Compassionate Allowance program. However, the typical SSDI application process can take several months to over a year for approval.

Shawn Plummer

CEO, The Annuity Expert

Shawn Plummer is a licensed financial professional, insurance agent, and annuity broker with over 14 years of first-hand experience with annuities and insurance. Since beginning his journey in 2009, he has been pivotal in selling and educating about annuities and insurance products. Still, he has also played an instrumental role in training financial advisors for a prestigious Fortune Global 500 insurance company, Allianz. His insights and expertise have made him a sought-after voice in the industry, leading to features in renowned publications such as Time Magazine, Bloomberg, Entrepreneur, Yahoo! Finance, MSN, SmartAsset, The Simple Dollar, U.S. News and World Report, Women’s Health Magazine, and many more. Shawn’s driving ambition? To simplify retirement planning, he ensures his clients understand their choices and secure the best insurance coverage at unbeatable rates.

The Annuity Expert is an independent online insurance agency servicing consumers across the United States. The goal is to help you take the guesswork out of retirement planning and find the best insurance coverage at the cheapest rates

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