When applying for Social Security Disability benefits, there are a number of criteria that must be met in order for your disability claim to be approved by the Social Security Administration (SSA). In addition to suffering from a long-term or permanent disability that completely prevents you from performing any type of work activity, you must also meet a number of other requirements including sufficient work credits and eligibility for disability insured status.
When the SSA refers to an applicant's Date Last Insured (also referred to as DLI), they are referring to the last work quarter in which the Social Security Disability applicant met disability insured status requirements. In most cases, individuals will qualify for Social Security Disability benefits if they had worked five out of the ten past years before the onset of the disability.
It is important to note that you must apply for Social Security Disability benefits prior to your Date Last Insured if you hope to receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) payments. This is why it is important to document your disability as soon as possible and submit your claim to the SSA in a timely manner. If you file your disability claim after your Date Last Insured, you will not be able to receive SSDI benefits.
If you have already passed your Date Last Insured but you meet all of the other disability criteria that has been set forth by the SSA, you may be able to qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits even though your window of opportunity for obtaining SSDI benefits has closed. SSI is a needs-based disability program that does not take your Date Last Insured into account when applying. Instead, the SSA will look at your total household income and assets in addition to your disabling condition and will use that information to approve or deny your SSI disability claim.