As a paralegal handling Social Security Disability claims, I speak to many potential clients. I am astounded by the number of people that don’t know they are entitled to Social Security benefits until it’s too late. The term “date last insured” (DLI) is a foreign term.
The DLI for Social Security purposes runs five years after you stop working. Therefore, if you do not file for disability or you become disabled after that five year period, you are not entitled to benefits unless you can prove that you were disabled prior to the expiration date.
This happens often to women who are married and are supported by their husbands. So often, they stay home to take care of their children even though they may have a debilitating medical condition. Once they realize they may be entitled to Social Security Disability benefits, it’s usually past their DLI.
Everyone should order a copy of their Social Security Statement. This is as simple as calling Social Security or going online to www.ssa.gov and following the instructions. Once you have done this, Social Security will send you a statement every year. The statement tells you exactly what you would be entitled to if you became disabled today, if you retire at 62, 67 or 70, as well as some other useful information. It is imperative that everyone knows what their rights are. This is a benefit we have all paid for and we should utilize when necessary.