What Is A Date Last Insured?
You may have seen or heard the term "date last insured" and wondered what that means. In short, the "date last insured" (DLI) is the date by which you must prove your disability began.
The issue of a DLI applies only to SSDI claims. It does not apply to SSI claims.
SSDI a form of insurance benefits. Depending on how many work credits you earn (see below for more information), you are "covered" under the "insurance policy" until your DLI.
In other words, you are able to receive disability benefits for any disability that occurs prior to your DLI. However, you will not be eligible for disability benefits for any disability that begins after your DLI.
How Does The Social Security Administration Determine The Date Last Insured?
SSDI is a form of insurance benefits for individuals who have paid Social Security taxes while working and were able to accumulate enough credits to qualify for the program.
For each $1,470 of wages earned in 2021, an individual earns one work credit. (The amount of wages required per credit varies each year.) A worker can earn a maximum of 4 credits per year. (So, if you earn at least $5,880 in 2021, you've earned the maximum of 4 credits allowed for this year.)
In order to qualify for SSDI, one must meet a recent work test and a duration work test.
Based upon the results of your recent work test, you will receive a DLI. The Social Security Administration will determine what your DLI is based upon your last date of work and when you stopped accruing work credits.
The duration work test does not affect the computation of your DLI and will not be discussed in this article, but see here for more information.
Please note: the DLI will be different for individuals found to be statutorily blind per the Social Security Administration disability listings.
What Is The Recent Work Test?
Meeting the requirement for the recent work test will vary by age. An individual age 31 or older must have earned at least 20 credits in the 10-year period immediately prior to becoming disabled. (In other words, you must have earned, at least, approximately $5,800 in at least 5 of the prior 10 years.)
If someone becomes disabled between ages 24 to 31, they must have worked half of the time between age 21 and the age at which they became disabled. For example, if a worker became disabled at age 27, the individual would need 3 years of work (12 credits total) out of the past 6 years (between the ages 21 and 27).
For someone younger than 24, the Social Security Administration requires that the individual must have earned 6 credits in the 3-year period ending when the disability starts. In other words, you must have worked at least 1.5 out of the 3 years prior to disability (6 credits).