How to file for disability, Filing for SSI
Disability Requirements, Disability Status
How long is the wait?, Disability Application
The Social Security List of Impairments
Qualifying for Disability, Mental Disability
Disability Lawyer Info, Disability Back Pay

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.

Essential Questions

What is the Social Security Disability SSI list of impairments?

Can you work while getting or applying for Disability?

How Often Does Social Security Approve Disability The First Time You Apply?

Tips for getting Social Security Disability or SSI benefits approved

What medical conditions will get you approved for disability?

What kind of Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?

Receiving a Disability Award Letter

Conditions Social Security will recognize as a disability

Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI

Applying for disability in your state

Most popular topics on SSDRC.com

Social Security Disability SSI Questions

The listings, list of disabling impairments

Can a mental illness qualify you for disability?

Disability Lawyers prevent unnecessary denials

How much Social Security Disability SSI back pay?

How to apply for disability for a child or children

Filing a Social Security Disability SSI application

Filing for disability - when to file

How to apply for disability - where to apply

Qualifications for disability benefits

How to Prove you are disabled and Win your Disability Benefits

Qualifying for Disability - The Process

How to get disability for depression

Getting disability for fibromyalgia

SSI disability for children with ADHD

What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?

Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability

Social Security Disability SSI Exam tips

More Social Security Disability SSI Questions

Social Security Disability SSI definitions

What makes you eligible for Social Security Disability or SSI?

New and featured pages on SSDRC.com

Who can help me file for disability?

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?
Texas Permanent Disability Benefits
Eligibility and qualifying for disability in Texas
How Much Are The Fees and Cost For a Disability Lawyer in Texas?

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

Can you get temporary Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?

Permanent Social Security Disability

What is the difference between Social Security Disability and SSI?

Who is eligible for SSI disability?

Can I Be Eligible For SSI And Social Security Disability At The Same Time?

What makes a person eligible to receive disability benefits?

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?

For the sake of clarity, SSDRC.com is not the Social Security Administration, nor is it associated or affiliated with SSA. This site is a personal, private website that is published, edited, and maintained by former caseworker and former disability claims examiner, Tim Moore, who was interviewed by the New York Times on the topic of Social Security Disability and SSI benefits in an article entitled "The Disability Mess" and also by the Los Angeles Times on the subject of political attempts to weaken the Social Security Disability system.

The goal of the site is to provide information about how Social Security Disability and SSI work, the idea being that qualified information may help claimants pursue their claims and appeals, potentially avoiding time-consuming mistakes. If you find the information on this site helpful and believe it would be helpful to others, feel free to share links to its homepage or other pages on website resource pages, blogs, or social media. Copying of this material, however, is prohibited.

To learn more about the author, please visit the SSDRC.com homepage and view the "about this site" link near the bottom of the page.