A new Bill introduced in a Senate Committee, would eliminate the 5 month waiting for Social Security Disability benefits, for those individuals deemed to be “terminally ill.” This would apply to tragic situations in which the claimant has a medical prognosis that his or her life expectancy is 6 months or less. At least 2 physicians who are not related and not in the same practice must certify that the individual is terminally ill. The benefits would not become 100% until the 3rd to 12th month. Similar Bills have been introduced with little success, except for two serious conditions, end state renal disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
Individuals often endure extreme financial hardship during the 5-month waiting period and may have to rely on SSI, if eligible. The Medicare 24-month waiting period causes even more onerous burdens for beneficiaries.