Overview of Disability

Disability Back Pay

Disability Requirements

Disability Applications

Disability Advice Tips

How long do cases take?

How to win Disability

SSD Mistakes to avoid

Disability for Mental

What if you get denied?

How to file Appeals

Disability through SSA

SSI Disability Benefits

Disability for Children

How do I qualify for it?

Working and Disability

Disability Award Notice

Disability Lawyer Q&A

Disability Conditions List

What is a disability?

Your Medical Evidence

Filing for your Disability

Disability Eligibility

SSD SSI Definitions

Recent Questions

SSDRC Disability Blog

What Determines If You Are Covered for SSDI (Social Security Disability) Benefits - The DLI Issue

I have spoken to many disability claimants who were having problems with their date last insured or DLI. Date last insured is a very difficult concept for many to understand, especially if they have worked most of their life--but have not been able to work for many years.

It is easier to explain date last insured, if you look at it (SSDI) as an insurance program. Social Security disability is an insurance program and the premiums are paid through payroll taxes. As long as you are working and taxes are being withheld from your payroll check, you are paying your insurance premium. If you are self employed it is important to show some kind of net profit in your business if you want to be insured for Social Security disability (you have to pay FICA taxes).

I have met many people who been self employed all their lives...who are not able to receive Social Security disability benefits because they never paid taxes a.k.a. their premiums. In essence, if you never pay into the Social Security system you will not be insured for Social Security disability.

Even if you have worked and are insured for Social Security disability, you will not be insured forever. Like other insurance programs, Social Security disability coverage can lapse when premiums stop being paid. When you stop working, you stop paying your Social Security disability premiums through payroll tax deductions.

It takes some time for your Social Security disability insurance to lapse after you stop working but it will end. The date your disability insurance ends is known as the “date last insured”, or DLI. The date last insured will always be the last day of a quarter (i.e. March 31, June 30, September 30, and December 31). Generally, most individuals are able to keep their insured status for about five years after they stop work or stop paying into the system through their payroll or self-employment taxes.

If you have a date last insured in the past or your date last insured will come before your disability case is resolved, you should make sure to stay focused on your disability claim. This may be your only chance to receive Social Security disability benefits. It is important to provide disability examiners with whatever information they request and to attend any scheduled consultative examinations required. Disability examiners can deny your disability claim if you do not provide information or you do not attend your consultative examination--without ever looking at your medical information.

If your disability claim is denied, it is especially important to appeal your denial if the decision is past your date last insured or DLI. If your disability claim is denied, it may be a good idea to consider the services of a Social Security disability attorney or non-attorney representative who can make sure you do not miss your appeal dates.

Should your disability claim have to be appealed to an administrative law judge, your representative can present your disability case in a way that is most favorable to you. Since this could be your last chance to receive Social Security disability, you should do everything in your power to make sure your disability claim has a positive outcome.

Return to:  Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions

Related pages:

Can I Get Disability If I Was Paid Under the Table?
What Determines If You Are Covered for SSDI (Social Security Disability) Benefits - The DLI Issue
Insured Status is What Makes SSDI and SSI Different From Each Other
What Is The Difference between SSD and SSI?
The Difference Between Social Security Disability and SSI Really Involves Work Activity
Am I Eligible to get Benefits (SSDI, Medicare) if I worked overseas and get a disability pension from another country?
Can You Get Disability Benefits If You Were Self-Employed and had Self-employment Earnings?
With low earnings can you be considered for Social Security Disability payments?

Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions and in these subsections:

Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits | FAQ on Disability Claim Representation | Info about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | FAQ on Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The SSD SSI Decision Process and what gets taken into consideration | Disability hearings before Judges | Medical exams for disability claims | Applying for Disability in various states | Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers | Applying for Disability in North Carolina | Recent articles and answers to questions about SSD and SSI

These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.

Filing for disability - How to file for SSD or SSI and the Information that is needed by Social Security
How to Apply for Disability - What medical conditions can you apply and qualify for?
Applying for Disability - How long does it take to get Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?
What happens if I file a disability application and it is denied by a disability examiner or Judge?
How to Prove you are disabled and qualify to win disability benefits
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition or impairment?
Social Security Disability Back pay and How Long it Takes to Qualify for it and receive it
Social Security Disability SSI - Eligibility Requirements and Qualifications Criteria