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Date Last Insured For Puposes Of Social Security Disability


The number of work credits you need to qualify for disability benefits depends on your age when you become disabled.  "Date Last Insured" (DLI) is the last day in the last quarter when disability insured status is met.  

A condition that fits the definition of disability for purposes of SSDI will not be covered if it started (the "onset date") after the Date Last Insured.

The amount of time until DLI varies depending on your work history.

If your disability was the cause for stopping work, or if you stopped work within the past year, you don't have to worry about DLI.

Learn your DLI when you call Social Security. Any representative can tell you the date from their computerized files.

If you want to verify what you're told, or check for yourself:

  • Look at the earnings report you receive each year from Social Security. If you didn't keep a copy, you can get another one by looking at How Do I Determine How Many Work Credits I Have?  Count back 20 quarters of credited work starting with the most recent credited quarter. This may involve going back past quarters during which there are no quarters.
  • Then, to determine your DLI, jump 10 years into the future starting with the end of the quarter immediately before the 20th quarter of coverage. This is your DLI. DLI is always the last day of the quarter.

For example:

Generally, you need 40 credits, 20 of which were earned in the last 10 years ending with the year you become disabled.  (You will need less work credit if you are under age 31 when you become disabled.)

A sample earnings record which shows work credits, where "C" = credited work and "N" = no credit. A quarter is a calendar quarter and the chart shows quarters from left to right. The left hand quarter is January 1 to March 31. 2nd quarter is April 1 to June 30. 3rd quarter is July 1 to September 30, and the 4th quarter is October 1 to December 31. 

              Year                                                       Work Credits

  • 1995                                                        CCCC
  • 1996                                                        CCCN
  • 1997                                                        NNNN
  • 1998                                                        NNNN
  • 1999                                                        CCCC
  • 2000                                                        CCNN
  • 2001                                                        NCCC
  • 2002                                                        NNCC
  • 2003                                                        CCNN
  • 2004                                                        NNNN

Counting back 20 quarters of credited work starting with the most recent quarter (which would mean starting with the second quarter in 2003), we get to the first quarter of 1995.

To determine DLI, jump 10 years into the future starting with the end of the quarter immediately before the 20th quarter of coverage which means we jump 10 years into the future from the first quarter of 2003. The result is this individual's DLI is March 31, since DLI is always the last day of a quarter.

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