I tend to think that the most important thing a person can do before filing your application for Social Security Disability benefits is to contact his or her local Social Security office and find out what that person’s date last insured is. This date is also known as the DLI.
Your DLI is important to an application for disability benefits because for an individual to eventually win a disability case that person needs to prove he or she was unable to work a full-time job on or before the date last insured.
This especially important to individuals who have not worked consistently over the last several years. Pretend that Mary had a car accident in 2007 and her physical health slowly declined until she was no longer working at all in 2010. Mary should contact Social Security to find out her DLI so that she knows the exact date she needs to prove her disability by. Mary found out her DLI was 12/31/2011. Even though she applied for disability in September of 2012, she had to make sure that she proved her inability to work to on or before 12/31/2011.
The best way to get your DLI is to call your local office and ask (click here to get find out your local SSA office’s phone number). I usually recommend that individuals call and get their DLI and earnings record. The earnings record is a printout that show what earnings were reported to SSA during your working life. When a person applies for disability or SSI that person should really check out their earnings record too. Social Security used to send them out every year. Now you can view a version of your earnings history online by going straight to Social Security’s website.
Sometimes the local office will give callers a hard time about releasing this information. I am not sure why, but I usually advise my clients to simply say ok, and call back a few minutes later. This usually results in a person providing the information needed.
- “Apply Right” Social Security disability guide trailer (socialsecurityinsider.com)
- Victories (getmyssi.com)