§ 190. How Disability Affects Non-Disability Benefits


When an individual meets the Act's test of disability and the insured status test for disability benefits, his or her earnings record is protected by a disability "freeze." The freeze applies for the length of the disability (or until the individual's "full retirement age" if that comes first). One result of a freeze is that quarters during the period of disability are not counted in determining the number of quarters needed for insured status. A second consequence of a freeze is that years included within the period are not included in calculation of the individual's "primary insurance amount."

To secure recognition of a period of disability, the claimant must file an application while disabled or within 12 months after the disability period has ended. An extension of that deadline for an additional 24 months is available in cases where the failure to file within 12 months was due to the individual's mental or physical incapacity.

Rev. 12/01

  • Related Sections:
    • Part 1
      § 170. Disability Benefits - In General
      § 300. Basic Elements of Coverage
      § 600. Social Security Benefit Calculation - In General
      § 601. Social Security Benefit Calculation - The Role of the Primary Insurance Amount
      § 602. Social Security Benefit Calculation - Calculating the Primary Insurance Amount
    • Part 2
      § A 100. The Need to File an Application -- Social Security
      § B 150. Full Retirement Age
      § N 500. Claim for a Period of Disability Earnings Record Freeze Apart From Benefit Claim
      § N 700. Claim Focusing on When Person Became Disabled