What Is the Date Last Insured and How Will It Affect My SSDI Claim?

Social Security Disability Insurance claims are often denied because the person applying became disabled after a certain date, called the Date Last Insured, or DLI. What happens before or after this date can have a huge impact on whether or not SSDI claims are granted by the Social Security Administration, so it's important to understand how the SSA calculates this date.

Although it is always best to speak to a New York City Social Security Disability eligibility lawyer to evaluate a potential claim, this article will provide a preliminary understanding of this critical aspect of the SSDI claims process.

In many ways, SSDI works like insurance-we pay into the system when we work, and this makes us eligible for benefits if we need them. SSDI is available to those who have worked roughly five of the last ten years. The SSA tracks this time by quarter, so instead of having to have worked five of the last ten years, you instead have to have worked 20 of the last 40 quarters. The quarters you worked are known as "quarters of coverage," or QCs.

The QC rules are slightly different for those under age 31, who would likely have less than ten years of working experience, but the requirement that they have worked at least half of those quarters remains.

A person's DLI is the last day of the last quarter in which they were insured by SSA-in other words, the last day of the last quarter in which they had enough QCs to qualify. For someone working full-time, that is roughly five years after they left their job. If the person was disabled before that day, then their claim for SSDI will probably be approved, because they were covered at the time of the injury.

The question of qualifying for disability benefits becomes more difficult if the person was disabled before his or her DLI, but didn't seek medical treatment or otherwise document it until after his or her DLI. In that case, the SSA would normally deny the claim, unless the person can present other medical evidence showing that the disability actually started before the coverage ran out.

Even if you become disabled after your DLI, you may still be able to receive some benefits. It is always advisable to speak to a social security disability attorney to discuss your options.

For folks who have been working steadily, the calculation of QCs and DLIs will be less important. But for anyone else who is making an SSDI claim, these factors are very important and can derail an otherwise good application.

If you have been injured and need SSDI benefits, it is important to seek counsel as soon as possible. An experienced New York Social Security Disability attorney can determine how the SSA will calculate your QCs and DLIs, and help ensure that your claim has the necessary documentation to show the disability occurred before the date of the DLI.