What is a date last insured for benefits?

Often denial notices from Social Security Disability Income will state that the applicant has not proven that they were disabled prior to the date they were last insured. SSA is denying your claim on the basis that you do not have enough quarters of coverage to be currently insured for benefits. The  general rule for workers 31 years of age or older is that they must have had earnings in  20 of the last 40 quarters to be insured for disability purposes. Workers under age 31 are not required to have as many quarters of coverage. To have enough earnings in a quarter in 2016, you must have earned $1,260. This dollar amount was less in prior years but increases each year and is publicly available on the Social Security website. You can obtain information about your individual date last insured by calling SSA.

If you receive a  notice denying your claim because you are not currentlyinsured for benefits don't give up.This language leads many people to give up when they should not. Closer investigation should always happen when a claimant has this type of denial. It is helpful to review the medical records to determine whether the condition that is the basis of the claim is chronic and was documented in the medical records prior to the date in the denial notice. A review of the earnings record should undertaken to determine whether all the earnings including recent earnings have been posted to the claimant's  account. If the claimant still has problems with having earned enough quarters for Social Security Disability Income then an evaluation should be made as to whether the individual is eligible for Supplemental Security Income.

Chosing an onset date before date last insured when the claimant has medical evidence and is not working is the easiest way to avoid this problem. For more information about date last insured issues and how to try to solve them, contact the [email protected] or call (402) 933 -5405

 

Sean D. Cuddigan
SSA and VA Disability Attorney in Omaha, Nebraska