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Understanding Your Disability “Date Last Insured”

By Aujsha Willoughby, Attorney

Parmele Law Firm, P.C.

Aujsha Social security disability legal adviceAn individual’s “date last insured”, which is also known as DLI, will establish the period of time in which a person has to prove that they became disabled under Title II benefits through the Social Security Administration. In other words, when you worked full time, the taxes that were paid to Social Security act as a premium paid, such as with any insurance program.

When you pay your taxes, each quarter of coverage will establish a certain amount of credits. These credits will then determine a certain amount of time in which you are allowed to establish a disability.   Just as with any insurance program, when you stop paying into it, you will no longer have coverage. As such, when you stop working full time there is a time period in the future in which your ability to receive Title II benefits will lapse.

Based on the quarters of coverage you earn over your working life, the Social Security Administration will calculate your DLI date once you stop working full time. Social Security will look at your earning records and determine the last day that you can claim benefits under Title II. In most cases, but not all, an individual will have at most 5 years from the time they stopped working, to prove a disability under Title II.

For example, if you’ve worked full time most of your life and you stopped working in January 2010, you should be covered until January 2015. This means that you will have to prove that you became disabled before January 2015 in order to received disability benefits under Title II.

Unfortunately, once the DLI date has passed, you may be ineligible to apply for benefits under Title II. For example, once it has lapsed, you may not be able to reap the benefits. Please keep in mind that everyone’s situation is different and it is best to speak with an attorney to determine how or if the DLI date will affect your case.