Brain Tumor Date Last Insured before my Disability date?
Recently on our disability forum a user asked, I was diagnosed with a brain tumor and can no longer work. I contacted the Social Security Administration (SSA) and they told me I do not qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits because my disability date was after my Date Last Insured (DLI). I worked and paid taxes my entire life. How can the SSA tell me I am not insured for SSDI benefits?
Understanding my Date Last Insured
Unfortunately, its not unusual for claimants to work most of their lives, become disabled, stop working, and for any number of reasons fail to apply for disability benefits.
What many claimants do not realize, however, is that SSDI is more like insurance and less like SSA retirement benefits. For example, while claimants are working and paying their taxes, they are insured, much like your car is insured while you are paying premiums. If you stop working and stop paying taxes, however, there is a point in time sometime in the future where you will no longer be insured. This date is referred to as your Date Last Insured (DLI).
What is my date last insured?
According to the SSA, the DLI is the last day in the last quarter when disability insured status is met. As of the DLI, the individual must be fully insured or deemed fully insured, and must meet the appropriate disability insured test.
In laymans terms, this means that you have a date when you first qualified for SSDI benefits and a date in which you no longer qualify for SSDI benefits. The last date of your coverage is referred to as your Date Last Insured. Although this date varies for each worker, assuming you have worked full-time for 10 years or more, your DLI is generally about 5 years from the last day you worked.
If you have questions regarding your DLI it is always best to contact the SSA and find out for sure the exact date. Knowing your DLI date ensures that you know the exact date in which to you must file your claim. If you do not want to file your claim prior to your DLI you can also file an intent to claim, which establishes the date of disability onset date prior your date last insured.
Applying for SSDI for a brain tumor after my DLI
Unfortunately, if you apply for SSDI benefits after your Date Last Insured you will be denied benefits, even for a severe brain tumor. That does not mean, however, that you do not have several options.
The first option is to determine whether your brain tumor was diagnosed prior to your DLI (date of disability). If this is the case, you will need medical evidence to support your claim that you became disabled due to your brain tumor prior to your DLI.
Another option to win SSDI benefits for a brain tumor is to prove your received a protective filing date prior to your date last insured. This occurs if you had the foresight to file an intent to file with the SSA.
Unfortunately, because many conditions are not caused by a single event, it may be difficult to prove exactly when you became disabled due to a brain tumor. Talk to a doctor if you need more medical evidence and to your disability lawyer if you have questions about your DLI.
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