Stop the Wait Act: Eliminating the five-month waiting period for SSDI benefits

Written by Gina Schreiber, SVP, Account Management & Aevo Insurance Services at Brown & Brown Absence Services Group

In September 2019, the Stop the Wait Act was introduced in the House by U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), Ranking Member of the Senate Special Committee on Aging, along with U.S. Representative Lloyd Doggett (D-TX-35), Chair of the House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee and House Budget Committee Member, and U.S. Representative Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA-01). The Stop the Wait Act is aimed at accomplishing the following things as it is currently constructed:

This legislation is supported by a number of patient advocacy groups and other organizations as noted in this article. In 2020, there was no meaningful traction relative to this legislation; the bill has been referred to subcommittees but did not make it out of the committees for a vote on the floor. 

There has been recent speculation as to the likelihood of this legislation being enacted – up to and including incorporating this legislation in the upcoming stimulus package proposals. Many of our industry contacts have indicated there is support for approval, while others feel the funding levels and conflicting priorities in Congress will make it hard to secure the needed votes. What is clear, however, is that if the five-month waiting period is eliminated, it would have an immediate and significant impact for you and your claimants.

Implications of approved legislation to eliminate the waiting period

Once SSA approves a valid claim, this change would mean that a beneficiary would be entitled to past due benefits that go back five months earlier, to his or her disability onset date.  Here’s how that might impact a claimant, or the integration with private disability policies:

SSDI and Short-Term Disability

There are a significant number of factors to address when considering extending a proactive SSDI advocacy, offset, and recovery program on an STD block. The list below is a start, covering topics from contracts to claimant communications.

Brown & Brown Absence Services Group, together with PDA are prepared to support customers as we move through this uncertainty, providing up to date and accurate information on developments in real time, and working with customers to create an action plan, and implement that plan if the change is approved.