TN 17 (07-92)
RS 00605.215 Effects of a Period of Disability
A. Policy - Period of Disability
The law makes certain distinctions between a period of disability and a freeze period.
The period of disability is the time period that is excludable from the computation of retirement, disability, or survivor benefits because the insured individual is determined to be unable to work.
In general, excluding the period of disability from a computation results in a higher benefit because years where the worker is unable to work are not used to determine the worker's average earnings. The period includes any freeze months and months of entitlement to DIB (cash benefits). However, months in an extended period of eligibility (EPE) after the last month cash benefits are paid are not included in a period of disability. See RS 00605.238 for details on EPE.
B. Policy - Freeze Period
A freeze period is a period of at least 5 full calendar months during which an insured individual is found disabled. Cash benefits may not be payable during a freeze period.
Freeze periods protect insured status by reducing the number of quarters needed for insured status or prolonging the period for which disability insured status is met. A freeze period also may be used to exclude years from the worker's average earnings computation.
NOTE: Do not count as a freeze period any periods where the worker received benefits as a disabled child (DAC) or as a disabled widow(er). Months of disability based on MQGE or deemed QC's for Medicare purposes are also not counted as a freeze for computational purposes.
Extended DIB eligibility, RS 00605.238.