A disability that ceases your ability to work is not easy. You may be left in a position where you are seeking income. Fortunately, this is the very purpose behind the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program.When you have been out of work because of a disability and need to receive financial benefits, there are important parts of this process that you must know in order to successfully receive benefits. Specifically, one crucial piece of information you need to know is the date you are last insured. The Date Last Insured (DLI) is vital to know because it is the last day in which you will be covered by a special kind of disability insurance that allows you access to Social Security Disability Insurance benefits.
How Is The DLI Determined?
You have to Pay FICA Tax
Your DLI depends on the date you stopped working at a job that pays into the Social Security system through FICA taxes. How do you know if you’ve been paying FICA taxes? Check your paystub. It will confirm whether you have been paying FICA taxes. It could be easy to assume that you have, but you may be surprised that some employers do not withhold this kind of tax.
If you have not been paying FICA taxes, you cannot receive Social Security Disability Insurance. It is also important to note that quarters in which FICA taxes are taken out do not begin until the age of 21.
You have to Accrue Quarters of Coverage
Next, you need to know that the work year is divided into four quarters. Every quarter that you earn $1,200 and have Social Security withheld from your check (FICA taxes), you receive one quarter of coverage. In order to become “insured” you must obtain 20 out of the last 40 quarters of coverage. That’s roughly 5 out of the last 10 years.
When the Social Security Administration (SSA) refers to an applicant’s Date Last Insured (DLI) they are referring to the last work quarter in which the Social Security Disability applicant met disability insured status requirements. Therefore, your DLI depends on when you last worked.
Once you have obtained insured status, you stay insured while you work, and then for 5 years after you stop working.
A typical case is if you worked up until five years ago (this day) your DLI would be today. If you worked up until four years ago, your DLI would be one year from now. However, if you have not worked for six years, your DLI was one year ago.
Why Does the DLI Matter?
In order to receive SSDI benefits, you must prove that you were disabled prior to your DLI. Therefore, it is important that you apply for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits prior to your Date Last Insured. It is also significant to document your disability as soon as possible and submit the evidence to SSA.
Many disabilities do not have a singular event that caused them, therefore establishing the onset date of your disability can be difficult. Medical evidence is required to support that onset date.
For example, Jane is a 50 year-old woman who decided to leave work in 2010 when she was 44 years-old to be a stay at home mom. However, this year in 2017, she was disabled and unable to work. Because she left work in 2010, her date last insured was in 2015. However, her disability began in 2013 and has medical records to prove it. Therefore, she still has a chance in receiving benefits.
In some cases, an individual’s DLI had already passed after the onset of their disability. If you cannot prove that your disability started and was severe enough prior to your DLI you will not be able to receive benefits.
What happens if my Date Last Insured has closed, but I meet all of the disability criteria?
Then there is another program available for you. You may be able to qualify for Supplemental Security Income benefits if your window of opportunity for obtaining Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) has closed.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a needs-based disability program that does not take your Date Last Insured into account when applying. Rather, the SSA will look at your total household income and assets in addition to your disabling condition and will use that information to approve or deny your SSI disability claim.
However, if you are like Jane and your DLI has passed, you may still be able to prove that your disability started before your DLI. In such a circumstance, we highly recommended hiring a disability lawyer so you don’t risk the chance of not receiving benefits.
What is the difference between Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI)?
SSDI is different from SSI because it is a program that is constructed to make an individual’s work history an asset to them.
SSI is a program that provides cash benefits to low-income people who are disabled and either have their DLI in the past or have no work history to rely on. The Social Security Administration examines not only the disabled person’s income, but also the income of everyone in the household while determining eligibility.
We are here to help
While coping with a disability, it is important not to take on too much additional stress. There are benefits out there and Summit Disability Law wants to help you qualify for the benefits that you deserve.
Having a Utah Social Security Disability Lawyer will help you navigate the claims process and can help you avoid the major mistakes that may cause you to have your benefits permanently denied. If you have a case, our attorneys will take your case on a contingency fee basis. This means that if we fail to secure you benefits, you do not pay us anything. Visit us at Summit Disability Law for a free consultation.
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