Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits aren’t permanent. In most cases, you only have five years from the date you last paid into Social Security before your SSDI benefits expire. If you are applying for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, your “date Last Insured” (DLI) will have a big impact on your claim.
To better understand what a DLI is, you need to remember that Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is just that, a form of disability insurance.
What is Your DLI?
You pay a premium for SSDI coverage, just like you do with the LTD insurance policies you purchase through work. The SSDI premiums are included as part of the FICA taxes withheld from each of your paychecks.
Like those other insurance policies, you’re only covered as long as you pay the premium. When you stop paying, your coverage stops. When you stop paying into FICA, your SSDI coverage will end on a certain date (usually five years after your last paycheck). This is your Date Last Insured.
The Social Security Administration calculates your DLI based on the number of credits you earned throughout your history of employment, as well as the date you stopped working.
How Your DLI is Calculated: Earning Enough Credits
One big difference between SSDI and private insurance is that Social Security requires you to build up coverage. You must have earned a sufficient number of “work credits” in order to qualify for SSDI benefits. You earn a work credit every three months you’re on the job; you can earn up to four work credits each year.
If you are 31 years or older, you’ll need to have acquired at least 40 credits (with 20 of them being earned in the last 10 years) before becoming eligible for SSDI benefits. Fewer quarters are required for younger workers.
How Your Date Last Insured is Calculated: The Date You Stopped Working
Despite the fact that you stopped paying into the system, you’ll remain covered for five years after your stop paying FICA taxes.
In order to obtain SSDI benefits, you’ll have to be able to show that your disability began before your DLI. For example, if you have not worked since April 1, 2014, your DLI would probably be April 1, 2019, so you’ll have to be able to prove that you became disabled before April 1, 2019 in order to still qualify for benefits.
Has The DLI Impacted Your SSDI Claim?
Demonstrating that the onset of your disability occurred before your DLI and other requirements can create problems when you file a claim for SSDI benefits. The assistance of an experienced Social Security disability benefits attorney can help you avoid the kinds of problems that could delay or prevent you from receiving badly needed benefits.
The law offices of M. Stanley Whitehead focus exclusively on helping disabled clients obtain the benefits they deserve. M. Stanley Whitehead is a nationally recognized board certified Social Security disability attorney with over 27 years of experience. He has assisted clients all over the U.S. in disability claims of all kinds, including cases where disability benefits have been unfairly denied.
If your DLI or other issues are preventing you from getting the benefits you need, call M. Stanley Whitehead at (800) 562-9830 to discuss your case.