Look Back Period

SSDI Attorneys Serving Chicago

The last date on which you were eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits is the date you were last insured. This date hinges on when your last work date was. Once you stop working, you have a limited time to file for disability benefits. The onset date of your qualifying impairment will dictate when your disability payment should be made. There is also a look back period. A seasoned Chicago Social Security lawyer can answer any questions you may have regarding this part of the claims process.

Time Requirements for SSDI

When you first apply for SSDI, you will need to state an alleged onset date, which is the date you claim you were first unable to work due to disability. Many disabilities don’t start with a single acutely traumatic accident, and in that case, it can be difficult to establish the alleged onset date, which must be supported by medical evidence. Often people apply later than the alleged onset date. Sometimes retroactive benefits are available, dating back to the alleged onset date. Benefits can be paid retroactively for up to one year from the application date. There are also two waiting periods. The first occurs between the date you file for benefits and the date you get your benefits. The second is a 5-month waiting period during which the SSA doesn’t pay benefits after giving approval for you to receive them.

The look back period is another important time period when you are bringing a disability claim. It can be complicated calculating the look back period, and it can be important to discuss your particular situation with an experienced SSDI attorney who may have ideas about how best to present medical evidence to ensure you’re able to qualify for SSDI.

Look Back Period

In order to be eligible for SSDI benefits, a disabled worker over age 30 needs to have worked 5 out of the last 10 years; if you are over 30, you need to have earned a minimum of 20 quarters of coverage over the past 10-year period. The rules are a little different for those under age 30. The amount of earnings you need to have to get a quarter of coverage goes up every year along with average wages.

SSA will look back 10 years from the date on which you file a disability claim to decide whether you’re eligible. The date you stopped working because you’re disabled doesn’t matter to this evaluation. Rather, the 10-year look back period refers to the ten years before the date you applied for SSDI. That means if you stopped working five years ago as of today, your date last insured is also today. The disability onset date needs to be before the date you were last insured for disability benefits in order for you to be eligible to receive them.

If your alleged onset of disability happened before your date last insured, you’ll need to satisfy the recent work requirement. In that case, the 10-year look back period starts with the onset date of disability. If you stopped working 6 years ago due to a catastrophic accident, but didn’t apply for SSDI until today, the 10-year look back period started six years ago. You need to have worked at least 20 quarters, which is roughly five years in the time period of 16 years ago until 6 years ago.

What if you file a disability claim after your date last insured, but can’t show that your disability onset date was before your date last insured? In that case, you might still be eligible, based on low income and few assets, for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.

Speak With a Knowledgeable SSDI Lawyer in Chicago

If you’re concerned about the look back period for SSDI, you can call us. The seasoned attorneys of Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Eagle, Johnson & Bareck represent disabled people in Rockford, Champaign, Aurora and Quincy, as well as Sangamon, Winnebago, Cook, Adams, and Kane Counties. We evaluate our clients’ disabilities to figure out whether there are also other forms of relief available, such as fighting for damages in a personal injury lawsuit. Contact us at 312-263-6330 or 800-444-1525 or via our online form.