In Social Security Disability or statutory blindness cases, a person’s insured status is an important date. In claims for Disability Insurance Benefits, a claimant will always have a date last insured, or DLI. In order to qualify for Title II Disability Insurance Benefits, in addition to meeting the strict medical requirements, a person must establish that the disability onset date is prior to his or her date last insured.
It is helpful to think of the date last insured in terms of an insurance policy, which most people are familiar with. If you stop paying your insurance premium, very soon you will lose your coverage. Similarly, when you work and contribute payroll taxes, it is as if you are paying an insurance premium which includes disability coverage. If you stop working and contributing social security taxes, at some point you lose your insured status.
The analogy to a private insurance policy is far from perfect. In many cases where a person has a long work history, his disability insured status continues for about five years after he stops working and paying taxes.
Different rules apply for a person who is determined to be statutorily blind. In such a case, a person may qualify based on his or her fully insured status. This is usually a much longer period of time. These rules are set forth in Social Security’s Program Operations Manual at RS 00301.150 and DI 25501.320.
For disabled or blind individuals, it is helpful to consult with an attorney, as there are rules that can be difficult for a lay person to understand.
This material should not be construed as legal advice for any particular fact situation, but is intended for general informational purposes only. For advice specific to any individual situation, an experienced attorney should be contacted.