One of the most common questions I am asked by clients is, what does "date last insured" mean?
"Date last insured," only applies to Social Security Disability benefits (SSD), it does not apply to those who are solely applying for Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
Your date last insured is typically 5 years after the date you last worked, or had wages paid into the Social Security system. If you last worked in 2005, it's unlikely that you have a date last insured beyond December 31, 2010. However, it is always important to check with Social Security to find out the exact date you were last insured.
When Social Security references a specific date that you were last insured, they are referring to the last point in time that you are considered to qualify to receive Social Security Disability Benefits. If your date last insured is in the past, do not get disheartened just yet, it is possible to still apply for and be awarded SSD benefits. In order to do that, you must establish that you were disabled from working prior to that date last insured.
So, if you went to Social Security today and you were told that your date last insured was December 31, 2009 you could still potentially apply for SSD benefits if you can show that you were disabled prior to that date. However, if Social Security determines that you were not disabled until some point after that date, you will not be eligible for SSD benefits.
This can be a very confusing issue. If date last insured is an issue in your case, you should definitely seek assistance from an attorney familiar with Social Security Disability.