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Date Last Insured or “DLI”: What it Means and Why it is Important

There are many different dates that are important to note for any Social Security Disability claim. These include date last insured (DLI), alleged onset date (AOD), and date of filing (DOF). This blog post will focus specifically on date last insured.

Date last insured is arguably one of the most important dates and factors in a claim for Social Security Disability Benefits. It is also important to note that DLI is only relevant in Disability Insurance Benefits (DIB or Title 2) claims not in Supplemental Security Income (SSI or Title 16) claims.

Simply put, when an individual is working, they are paying into the Social Security system by having money taken out of their check each pay period. For social security purposes, each work year is broken up into four quarters. Eligibility for benefits considers the total number of quarters worked and earned as well as the time frame in which they were earned.

Generally, to be eligible for benefits an individual must have worked at least 20 of the last 40 quarters. It is important to note there are several different rules and exceptions based on age and other factors. However, once eligibility is established, then the date last insured is determined.

Basically, an individual’s date last insured is determined on when they last worked. The date last insured is the last date you are eligible to qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance. For example, a person may have worked on and off and have a date last insured of December 31, 2021. This would mean that this individual would have to prove they are disabled prior to December 31, 2021, since they are only covered through that date.

Many people with a very consistent work history have DLIs well into the future. Overall, it is important to work with an experienced attorney who can determined your eligibility, your date last insured, and what that DLI will mean for your specific case.

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