Back in January, I answered a question from a blog reader about Social Security disability credits. That reader wondered why Social Security had advised her that she had “run out of credits.”
You earn credits based on earnings during the approximately 10 year period prior to filing for disability. If you wait too file or if you allege disability as of a date where your credits have run out, you cannot recover disability benefits (you could recover SSI, but SSI benefits are usually lower than SSDI and SSI will be offset by household income or assets).
When you file for benefits, Social Security calculates something called your “date last insured.” As long as the judge or adjudicator finds you disabled on or before your date last insured, you will receive disability benefits. If you are found disabled after your date last insured, you will not qualify for SSDI benefits.
In my law practice, one of my first tasks with any new client is to determine that client’s date last insured. I have learned the hard way that if I am successful in proving disability, but the onset date used by the judge is after the date last insured, my client won’t receive any benefits and I won’t get paid for my efforts.
My colleague Social Security lawyer Tomasz Stasiuk in Colorado, recently posted a very well written explanation of the date last insured issue. Take a minute and read Tomasz’ post because it clearly discusses and explains the major issues related to your date last insured.