This is the period of time you need to be "disabled" prior to benefits beginning. The waiting period is like a deductible. This period is generally 90 to 180 days. Keep in mind the first benefit will arrive about 30 to 45 days after the waiting period.
Generally you do not have to be totally disabled to receive benefits. You need only to have a loss of income and/or not be able to work as many hours or perform some of the duties of your occupation. The Residual Benefit is a very important part of a contract. Most disabilities are not total, and even if they start out as total disability, most of the time there will be some residual benefits when returning to work.