Although delay in submitting evidence of disability should be avoided, it will not result in loss of months of entitlement. The effective date of deemed DWB entitlement for a person entitled to D benefits depends on the date DWB could have begun, not on when evidence of disability is submitted.
Mrs. Smith, born in 5/40, filed for and was awarded widow's benefits effective 6/00 the month her husband died. In 12/03, she filed evidence establishing that she was disabled beginning several years before her husband's death. She is deemed, for HI purposes, to be entitled to DWB beginning 6/00 and is entitled to HI beginning 6/02.
NOTE: In some cases, a disabled widow or widower, eligible for a reduced RIB which would be greater than the reduced D benefit, will find it advantageous to restrict the scope of the application to D benefits only in the first possible month of entitlement so that D entitlement can be established for at least one month prior to the start of RIB entitlement. Once the D entitlement is established, and it is determined that the beneficiary would have met all the requirements for DWB if not age 60 or over, he or she may be deemed entitled to DWB for the purpose of HI entitlement. Even though D benefits are terminated when entitlement to reduced RIB begins, deemed DWB entitlement continues, enabling the beneficiary to become entitled to HI after 24 months.
Mrs. Allen, a disabled individual, inquired at the DO about her benefit rights when her husband died in 10/00. She attained age 62 in 09/00, is fully insured, and wants reduced RIB; she could not meet the 20/40 requirement for DIB. Her husband's PIA was less than her own, and entitlement to a reduced RIB would preclude entitlement to D benefits (and to deemed entitlement to DWB). However, she can become entitled to HI only if she is deemed entitled to DWB for 24 months. Accordingly, Mrs. Allen makes clear on her application that she is filing only for D benefits for the month 10/00; her application for reduced RIB is limited to begin 11/00. Once she has been entitled to D benefits, she can then establish deemed entitlement to DWB, which will continue after her D benefits have been converted to reduced RIB. Beginning 10 /02, after 24 months of deemed entitlement to DWB, she can become entitled to HI. Of course, upon attaining age 65 in 10/03, Mrs. Allen becomes entitled to HI under the regular insured provision and her coverage continues without interruption.