Contrary to popular belief, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a type of insurance. FICA contributions are deducted automatically from an employee’s salary (with contributions also made by the employer). To qualify for SSDI, an individual must have worked for at least five years out of the last ten years (in most situations). The date of initial insurance is used in the Social Security Disability process to determine when a disabled worker first qualifies for SSDI coverage.
The date insured for the first time should not be confused with the date of acceptance or the date of disability start. The date of first insurance does not automatically qualify an individual for Social Security Disability benefits. Rather than that, the date of initial insurance proves that the person has worked and paid into FICA long enough to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits in the event of disability.
In certain circumstances, a worker may qualify for Social Security Disability benefits if he or she submits a disability claim prior to the date of initial insurance, as long as the person later qualifies. An example of this would be when an individual files for disability as a result of an injury yet continues to work. Though the condition worsens and he/she is unable to work as a result of the impairment, he/she may be eligible for SSDI based on the original onset date because he/she got insured, even if the date of first insurance is after the first onset of the disability.
A Social Security Disability representative can assist in sorting out the finer case information (such as date first insured) that applicants for Social Security Disability benefits should be aware of. Due to the fact that SSDI is an insurance program, individuals have a date of first insurance and a date of last insurance, which creates a window for filing for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits. Eligibility for SSI, which is determined by need rather than premiums paid, is not directly affected by any of these dates, though it may be indirectly influenced by an individual’s eligibility to draw SSDI based on his or her date of first insurance.