Understanding Your Alleged Onset Date for Social Security Disability (Part 2)

In part 1 , we discussed the importance of your alleged onset date with respect to Social Security Disability. Just as a brief recap, your alleged onset date is the date you allege that you became disabled. As discussed, your alleged onset date is very important because it’s the date that your medical evidence in the record must demonstrate that your functional capacity was limited to such an extent that you are no longer able to work.

We also discussed the importance of amending your onset date when the medical evidence in the record is not strong enough to support your claim for disability on the date you originally alleged. However, there is another onset date problem that we want to discuss in this article and that is when your alleged onset date is past your date late insured.

First, what is a date last insured?

When you work and pay Social Security taxes, part of the tax is an insurance premium for Social Security Disability. This disability insurance through Social Security does not last forever, unfortunately. You’re only insured based on the number of credits you have in the system. As a rule of thumb, you must have worked five out of the last 10 years in order to be insured through the Social Security Disability program.

Unfortunately, many people stop working for a number of reasons but don’t apply for disability until after they are no longer insured. People with severe medical impairments will often stop working due to the impairment, but won’t apply for disability because their spouse works and they don’t think they qualify.

What do you do if you are disabled but did not apply until you were no longer insured?

First, you must allege an onset date prior to your date last insured. Second, you must not only allege an onset date prior to your date last insured you must be prepared to PROVE disability prior to your date last insured. Hopefully, you’ve been treating with a specialist or some other acceptable medical source for your condition. It’s important that your doctor be prepared to give an opinion not only to the fact that your medical condition prevents you from working, but also at what point the medical condition became disabling. If the physician is able to find through the medical evidence in the record that you became disabled prior to your date last insured, you will have a much better chance of winning your case.

What do you do if you were not treating for the condition prior to the date last insured?

Unfortunately, it will be very difficult to win your case under this circumstance. Disability must be proven through medical evidence and if you don’t have medical evidence from the time you are claiming to be disabled then you are unlikely to be awarded benefits. If you’re in this circumstance, you may want to see if you qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. You must be disabled to receive SSI as well and there are strict financial requirements in order to be eligible. However, there is no insurability requirement for SSI so you will at least want to explore this option.

If you have questions about your alleged onset date, you may want to speak to one of our attorneys at Hunter & Everage to discuss what it may mean for your case.