When you are working, you have FICA tax withheld from your wages. You also earn one Social Security credit for each quarter in which you earn a certain amount of wages.
However, when you stop working, you stop accumulating these quarters of coverage. Normally, five years after you stop working, your insured status expires. It then becomes much more difficult, if not impossible, to receive Social Security Disability benefits since you are no longer insured for benefits. In other words, your “date last insured” is in the past. It is similar to letting your car insurance expire, then trying to file a claim after a new accident.
Therefore, it is much better if, as soon as you feel you are disabled and will be unable to work for a year of more, to file a claim immediately.
Please note that this does not apply to people who are already receiving Social Security Disability benefits. Once benefits are awarded, the “date last insured” no longer applies, and Social Security Disability benefits will continue as long as you remain disabled and are unable to work.
If you have questions about the timing of your benefits and what you may or may not be entitled to, give our office a call to schedule a consultation.