Timing is critical with Social Security Disability

Timing is a critical factor in seeking Social Security Disability because each step of the process is dependent on the step that comes before it.

One of the foundation blocks of basic computer programming is the conditional construct. The creator of the program establishes the computer’s task with if-then statements. We use them in real life too. A simple example would be to say, if A equals B, and B equals C, then A equals C.

There Are Many Factors

Conditional statements are also part of applying for Social Security Disability Insurance. If an applicant fails to take specific steps, in the right order, then benefits are denied. Trying to trace all the possible if-then conditions can be dizzying. So, here’s one more for you. If this cycle baffles you, an attorney can help you get through the SSDI application maze.

The SSD System is full of quirks

One of the things that can catch many people in Indiana up short when it comes to claiming SSDI is that they find out the quirks of the system too late. In the simplest of terms, here is how it works.

SSDI is insurance. Worker and employers pay the premium on the insurance through Social Security taxes. So what happens if the worker and his employer no longer pay the premium? Coverage fades away. When it disappears is called the date last insured (DLI). DLI might come weeks, months or years down the road.

calendar with date circled

What can happen is that a disabled worker leaves his or her job, but doesn’t take immediate steps to start an SSD application? Coverage fades away. And if the disabled worker applies for benefits after the DLI expiration, application denial follows.

It’s Possible to Prevent Thus

But, it is possible to extend SSDI coverage beyond your DLI if you establish a “protective filing date.” To get more time, inform the Social Security Administration that you intend to file for disability benefits. You can do this in writing. Alternatively, if you start the online application process, the date of your application can serve as the protective filing date.

The value of early notification is that an applicant remains eligible for SSDI even if the paperwork isn’t filed until after DLI expiration.

If you doubted the value of early reporting of a disability, then this should clear it up: timing is critical!


Gerling Law is a leading personal injury law firm dedicated to providing aggressive legal representation to individuals and their families.  With over 50 years of experience, Gerling Law has helped thousands of people in Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky recover hundreds of thousands of dollars in a wide variety of personal injury and consumer protection cases, including trucking accidents, wrongful death, medical malpractice, nursing home negligence and social security disability. Gerling Law takes pride in the fact that we have never represented insurance companies, hospitals or large corporations and that we fight against powerful companies for our clients.

If you need an experienced, dedicated personal injury lawyer, Gerling Law is here to help.  You can always reach us at 888-GERLING (888-437-5464) or through our website at www.gerlinglaw.com.

Tag DLI expirationSocial Security Disability

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