Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) works much like your regular car insurance, in the sense that it covers you only until a certain expiration date. Your Date Last Insured (DLI) is the last date you are ‘covered’ by SSDI – disability found after this date will no longer be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance.
How do you identify your DLI, and what do you have to do before this date? To answer these, it’s important to first understand certain qualifications for SSDI.
Credit Requirements And Determining DLI In SSDI
The foremost qualification for Social Security benefits is that you should have earned enough work credits. This is done by working at a certain earnings level and paying Social Security taxes. If you do these for one quarter of the year, you get one credit, also known as Quarter Coverage (QC). In one year, you can earn a maximum of four QCs.
Social Security requires that you must have worked (earned credits) at least 20 out of the last 40 quarters before you can claim disability benefits. In other words, your work history must total at least five years out of the last 10 years. This is applicable whether you worked for five years straight or worked sporadically within the decade.
Given these credit requirements for disability benefits, your Date Last Insured is typically five years after you stopped working for any reason (not just disability). So, for example, if you quit your job on October 31, 2013, your DLI will likely be on October 31, 2018.
What To Do On Or Before DLI
If you are applying for Social Security disability benefits, it is vital to establish that your disability started before your DLI has passed. In the eyes of the SSA, disability means having a medical condition that prevents you from working, so gather all medical and work-related evidence as soon as you can. These may include diagnostic test results, treatment records, doctor’s notes, work logs, and description of the tasks you can no longer perform.
The DLI is like an expiration date for your disability coverage, but it is not a deadline for filing a disability claim. You can still apply for SSDI benefits even after your DLI has passed. However, this can be extremely difficult because you would have to collect evidence from back when your disability started. Some delayed claimants find that their records are no longer available or that they can no longer get supporting statements from their doctors.
Because of this, it is highly advisable to initiate an SSDI application as soon as possible, and also to prepare the relevant documents that can serve as evidence in your claim.
What To Do If You’re Disabled After Your DLI
Many people find themselves with a disabling condition long after they have stopped working. Some also postpone their disability claim in hopes of being able to work again, only to find out that this is not possible. If your Social Security disability coverage has expired and you are seeking a form of assistance, you may still have other options outside of SSDI. One is the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program, which is meant to support low-income recipients.
Don’t wait to act when it comes to Social Security claims. If you have questions or concerns, you can always talk to our lawyers at the Gillette Law Group. We have helped many Virginians succeed in their SSA applications, and we are ready to be of service to you. Call us today at (855) 873-2604.