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What Does Date Last Insured (DLI) Mean?


Receiving disability is a vital part of millions of Americans’ lives. Currently, 10,450,000 Americans receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). However, successfully applying for and receiving these benefits can be complex, and being accepted into this program depends on a wide range of criteria. The date last insured (DLI) is the date before which you must prove you are disabled in an SSDI claim. If you cannot prove that you were disabled before DLI, you still may receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, so be sure to apply for both SSDI and SSI during your initial application process.

20/40 Rule

According to the Social Security Administration, you must have worked 20 of the last 40 quarters (five of the last 10 years) in order to receive SSDI benefits. That means that if you stopped working five years ago (and had worked the previous five years before that), your DLI would make you ineligible for SSDI, whereas if you stopped working six months ago (and worked the previous five years before that), your DLI would be four and a half years from now, giving you time to prove your disability. Your DLI does not have anything to do with the date of your injury or last had insurance (as the name might suggest); it’s a date calculated by the SSA based on the date you last worked and paid into the system. You may have been injured many years ago and continued to work through the pain until your condition grew so bad that you had to quit working. Or, your injury could have occurred yesterday after three years of being unemployed. As long as you have worked five of the last 10 years, you most likely will not be foreclosed from receiving SSDI benefits due to your DLI.

Receiving Social Security Disability Insurance after an Expired DLI

There are a few ways in which you and your attorney can successfully apply for SSDI even after your DLI expires. One of these ways is if you were able to receive a protective filing date before your DLI, which essentially protects your filing date for SSDI for a future application. Your attorney can help you fill out a protective filing date today, which can be used in the future to ensure that your DLI expiration does not affect your ability to receive SSDI years down the road. The second way in which you can still receive SSDI after an expired DLI is to prove that your debilitating condition began before your DLI.

Contact Our West Palm Beach Law Offices Today

Do you know when your DLI is? Applying for SSDI is complicated, and riddled with confusing language and lengthy documents that many people fail to fill out accurately, leading to delays in coverage and outright denials of benefits. The West Palm Beach Social Security lawyers with the Celeste Law Firm are here to help you today.


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