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Legislation Spotlight: The Stop the Wait Act

April 26, 2023

Representative Lloyd Doggett (D-TX-37) introduced H.R. 883, The Stop the Wait Act of 2023, on February 9, 2023. Senator Robert Casey (D-PA) introduced the same bill in the Senate, S. 320, on the same day.

H.R. 833 has 94 co-sponsors, 91 of which are Democrats and 3 are Republicans. S. 320 has 11 co-sponsors, 10 of which are Democrats and 1 is an independent.

First introduced in September of 2019, the 118th Congress is the third straight Congress that the bill has been introduced in both the House and the Senate. No hearing or markup has ever been held on the bill. The bill has not been scored by the Congressional Budget Office since its introduction.

Bill Summary: The Stop the Wait Act would reduce the number of months that a Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) beneficiary is required to wait after disability onset date for the receipt of benefits to begin. The bill does so gradually over time as follows:

(b) Phase-Down Of Waiting Period For Disability Insurance Benefits. — For purposes of applications for disability insurance benefits filed on or after the date of enactment of this Act and before January 1, 2028, section 223(c)(2) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 423(c)(2)) shall be applied by making the following substitutions:

(1) For applications filed in calendar years 2023, 2024, or 2025, substitute “three” for “five” and “fifteenth” for “seventeenth” each place it appears.

(2) For applications filed in calendar year 2026, substitute “two” for “five” and “fourteenth” for “seventeenth” each place it appears.

(3) For applications filed in calendar year 2027, substitute “one” for “five” and “thirteenth” for “seventeenth” each place it appears.

Eliminating the five-month waiting period for SSDI benefits is one of NOSSCR”s top legislative priorities. NOSSCR strongly supports this bill, as well as legislative approaches that provide individuals with an election regarding whether to wait for five months before benefit receipt begins or to have benefits adjusted to eliminate the wait.