Understanding the Date of Last Insured (DLI) for SSDI Benefits

Understanding the Date of Last Insured (DLI) for SSDI Benefits

To qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), you must have a severe disability or medical condition that prevents you from working. Additionally, you will be required to provide proof that you were disabled before your date last insured (DLI).

If you have a job, a portion of your taxes from your paycheck automatically go towards funding the SSDI program. This means that as long as you work and pay FICA taxes, you are covered under the SSDI program. Like car insurance policies, if you stop paying for coverage (in this case, FICA taxes) you are no longer covered under the program. The difference, however, between car insurance and SSDI is that SSDI coverage has an extended grace period within which you can still apply for your benefits.

What is the Date Last Insured?

The date last insured refers to the expiration date for eligibility of SSDI benefits, which can vary by case. The SSA calculates your DLI by evaluating your earnings history over the past ten years prior to your application submission. You must have worked at least five years in that period and have also paid your FICA taxes. This is to help the SSA ensure you are eligible for the program.

This program requires you to obtain a certain amount of work credits to qualify for disability benefits.  Twenty credits, or less depending on your age, must have been accumulated within the past 10 years before the onset of your disability. Work credits are based on income, with the cap being four credits earned per year.

If you prove that you became disabled before your DLI, you may receive monthly SSDI benefits. Although there is no statute of limitations as to when you can file for SSDI benefits, you should file as soon as possible before your DLI expires.

Alternative Options

If you do not qualify for benefits under the SSDI program, you may be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. SSI requires you to prove that your assets and income are below a certain threshold. However, SSI does not have a date last insured and is not affected by your work history.

Talk to an Attorney About How Your Date Last Insured Affects Your Claim

Struggling with a disability can negatively impact the quality of your life and create long-term obstacles if you cannot earn a full income. Social Security Disability claims can often be denied due to technical or medical issues based on the date last insured. If you require assistance determining whether you qualify for SSDI or are seeking to appeal a claim denial, contact our highly qualified Social Security Disability team, who can help guide you through this challenging process.

In addition, you can try out our SSDI quiz to see what amount of benefits you might be eligible.

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Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law

Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law
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