Social Security disability benefits and the Date Last Insured

Social Security disability date last insured

Social Security disability insurance benefits are a bit like car insurance:  you pay your premiums to obtain insurance covered. When it comes to Social Security disability, your premiums are your payroll taxes and the coverage is the disability insurance.

In order to qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance, you have to have paid enough into the Social Security system through payroll taxes. Once you have worked long enough, you become insured for Disability Insurance benefits should you become unable to work.

What happens when you stop paying your premiums?

Just like for car insurance, you may be covered for some time after your last payment, but there will be a cut off date for your policy.  If you have an accident before your cut off date, the insurance company will take care of you.  However, if you have an accident after your policy lapses, the insurance company wont give you anything.

So, how does this apply to Social Security?

If you have stopped working (or have started a job that does not pay into Social Security — one example in Colorado is teachers, who pay into PERA instead), you stop paying the “insurance premium.”  That means that sooner or later you will reach your date last insured.  The last date you are insured for Disability Insurance benefits under Social Security.

Here is where things get a little tricky:

  • The date last insured does not limit when you can file for benefits.  You can still file for Disability Insurance benefits after your date last insured.  Note: there are some exceptions to this which go beyond the scope of this article.
  • The date last insured limits when you must prove your disability began.  Just as in a car accident case where you have to prove that the accident happened while you were still insured, in a Social Security case, you have to prove that the disability occurred before the date last insured.
  • If you can prove that your disability began before your DLI, you may be able to receive Disability Insurance benefits (even if you file for benefits after the DLI).  If you cannot prove the disability began before the DLI, you might not be eligible for Disability Insurance.

Here is another important thing to keep in mind: date last insured only applies in Disability Insurance cases.  Date last insured is not an issue in the “other” kind of Social Security disability benefits:  Supplemental Security Income (SSI cases).  While date last insured may make you be ineligible for Disability Insurance Benefits, you may still qualify for Supplemental Security Income benefits (SSI).

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Disclaimer: This is NOT legal advice. This site provides general information about Social Security disability cases in Colorado. To discuss your particular circumstances, please contact a lawyer in your area. Please review the full disclaimer .

About Tomasz Stasiuk

Tomasz Stasiuk is a Colorado Springs Social Security disability lawyer and the founding attorney of the Stasiuk Firm - a law firm specializing in Social Security disability cases in Colorado. Follow Tomasz Stasiuk on Google and Twitter

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  • Julie Latham

    Date of Disability (Bipolar)began in 1994.
    Date Last Insured 1998.
    Date applied for SSDI 2002. Denied.
    Obtained Lawyer to appeal denial 2003.
    Reconsidered twice and denied for insufficient Medical Records in 2004.
    On advise of lawyer, applied for SSI in 2004.
    Approved for SSI 8/08.
    During SSI Administrative Judge Hearing, comments were made by SS Psychiatrist that the records clearly indicate a disabiling condition going back all the way to 1994. During first application filed for SSDI 2002, records were insufficient due to extreme psychosis, dealing with unwanted divorce, loss of work, child custody issues, and legal issues.
    I now have a RN acting as my health care advocate. She has helped me obtain my medical records and is in the process of acquiring more records that were created from 1994-2002.
    Can I go back and reopen the SSDI case? Can I hold my lawyer responsible for failing to advise me of the Appeals Council process or of failing to followup on the SSDI appeal?

  • http://www.SocialSecurityInsider.com/ TomaszStasiuk

    Reopening a prior claim is sometimes possible. But unfortunately, I cannot evaluate cases or offer legal advice via comments or email (my malpractice carrier would have a fit). But there are lots of opportunities to talk to an attorney.

    If you are in Colorado, feel free to call me at (719) 630-1225 or (800) 407-0166 and we can talk about your case. Don't worry, I will not bill you for the telephone consultation. You are only on the hook for attorneys fees if you retain my office by signing a fee agreement.

    If you are outside of Colorado, call an attorney in your area and discuss your case.

    I wish you the very best on bringing your case to a successful resolution.

    Tomasz M. Stasiuk
    http://www.SocialSecurityInsider.com

    A Whole Mess of Legalese:
    Information contained on the website and responses to comments (including email) are general information about the Social Security system and are not legal advice. For a review of the specific circumstances of your case, contact an attorney for a consultation. The Stasiuk Firm is available for consultations by telephone at (719) 630-1225 or (800) 407-016. No attorney-client relationship is formed via unsolicited communications with the website or office. No representation is provided without a validly executed fee agreement signed by the Stasiuk Firm and the client (or their representative). Phew!

  • Mike

    How long does coverage last after I stop working.

  • http://www.SocialSecurityInsider.com/ TomaszStasiuk

    Hi Mike:

    Thanks for writing.

    The date last insured is different in every case. It depends on which “calendar quarters” your “quarters of coverage” appear. There is a formula you can use if you have your quarters of coverage printout from Social Security. This is what I use when I need to verify the date last insured. However, most people do not have this print-out.

    However, if someone just wants to know their date last insured, it is often easier to call the local Social Security office or the Social Security toll free number (1-800-772-1213) and ask, “when is my date last insured for Title 2 benefits?”

    The date last insured will always fall on the last day of a quarter. So it will be either March 31, June 30, September 30, or December 31, of a particular year.

    Good luck!

  • http://www.insurance-quotes-auto.com Minto

    Handling insurances and all that Social security matters is not less than a big fuss which messed me a lot. I think nothing is better to have them and keep them smoothly. Thanks for all those tips and tricks though.

  • rs_glnn

    I was injured at work on 2-27-92, I won my workers comp and lifetime medical was part of the settlement. My work history was great before the accident, but work was very rare after, back then I filed for appeal, lawyer was a no-show and I lost. I spent many years homeless, and on SDI or welfare time to time. It doesn't seem fair that because I physically could not work much, it is held against me. I didnt enjoy being unable to provide, or homeless, or the pain. Now last Dec. the ALJ gave me a “fully favorable” decision but since I was not collecting all those years, all I qualify for is SSI and not even that if I reside with my ex-wife, because they count her salary. Can this be contested as to how using this rule cant possibly apply the same to every person.

  • http://www.SocialSecurityInsider.com/ TomaszStasiuk

    It sounds like it would be a tough case, but it might be possible. However, there is a lot of information that would have to be gathered to give you a firm answer.

    I recommend you contact a lawyer and see what can be done.

  • rs_glnn

    I was injured at work on 2-27-92, I won my workers comp and lifetime medical was part of the settlement. My work history was great before the accident, but work was very rare after, back then I filed for appeal, lawyer was a no-show and I lost. I spent many years homeless, and on SDI or welfare time to time. It doesn't seem fair that because I physically could not work much, it is held against me. I didnt enjoy being unable to provide, or homeless, or the pain. Now last Dec. the ALJ gave me a “fully favorable” decision but since I was not collecting all those years, all I qualify for is SSI and not even that if I reside with my ex-wife, because they count her salary. Can this be contested as to how using this rule cant possibly apply the same to every person.

  • http://www.ColoradoSocialSecurityLaw.com TomaszStasiuk

    It sounds like it would be a tough case, but it might be possible. However, there is a lot of information that would have to be gathered to give you a firm answer.

    I recommend you contact a lawyer and see what can be done.

  • http://www.cheapercarinsurance.com/ cheap car insurance

    Handling insurances and all that Social security matters is not less than a big fuss which messed me a lot. I think nothing is better to have them and keep them smoothly.and thanks for posting this blog.

  • Anne W.

    My DLI was 12/31/05. I`ve been on Fed. OWCP since injury in1/2002. Read something online last year about a deadline for filing & called SS office – was told that because I was on OWCP and not listed at Max. Med. Improvement the DLI did not apply to me. Since then I`m at MMI and filing for FERS Dis. Retirement and SSD.
    I think my paperwork way back to 2002, and through 12/31/05, should prove I was dissabled since my accepted and approved condition is listed in the the 1.02 & 1.04 List of impairments. Now I`m not sure what to do or expect!

  • Anne W.

    Since posting my last comment I have an appt. for 4/19 w/SSDI for reconsideration. My understanding ( after calling in loads of help from relatives/friends who are not suffering from pain & meds that make you ADD like me) is
    1) I have to prove a seperate case dealing with pre DLI tests/Dr`s notes saying I was unsuitable/unable to do any substantial work – not only being just unable to go back to my job at the time).
    2). I`ll also have to prove I am NOW incapable of any gainful employment and answer all the questions in the reconsideration form addressing changes since I applied for for SSDI.
    I have looked for local legal representation to no avail basically due to the deadline of 4/22/10 to stop this appeal before it gets to being passed on to the next level. My DR is a Board Certified Independant Med Examiner who does SSDI exams. Thankfully he believes in my disability and has written a strong letter of support and completed a Residual Functional Capacity form… All looks good EXECPT for he & I both don`t understand this DLI/ Res Judicata stuff.
    I know you don`t deal with out of staters (I`m from Ohio) but,Mr. Stasiuk,if you could offer me any advice prior to my deadline It would actually save me literally from economic and emotional devastation. Anything to point me in the right direction and avoid a fatal mis-step would be a life saver – and maybe theres someone else with the same issues that would benefit. Thanks for the service you offer.

  • http://cheapcarinsurance.net/ cheapest car insurance

    Handling insurances and all that Social security matters is not less than a big fuss which messed me a lot. I think nothing is better to have them and keep them smoothly. Thanks for all those tips and tricks though.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/ray.walker.77 Ray Walker

    Even though I work until 2006, they say my DLI is 1997. How can this be?

  • http://www.stasiukfirm.com/ TomaszStasiuk

    Calculating the DLI is not a matter of just adding a number of years to the last time a person work. DLI is based on counting back 20 credits of coverage and counting forward 40 calendar quarters (this is the general standard). If there are gaps in the credits, the DLI will be affected. If you wanted to check your DLI, you would need a printout from SSA showing your credits.

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