I just got in a decision on a case. The judge found in favor of my client. But, she found that he became disabled about three weeks after he was last insured for benefits. This small amount of time is going to cost my client tens of thousands of dollars over his lifetime. Instead of getting about $1,100 per month in benefits, he is going to get the SSI amount, $733. His minor children are no longer eligible for any benefits. This could have amounted to another $500 or so each month. By missing his deadline for being insured, this client cut his monthly benefits by more than half. Think about what that means when calculated over his lifetime. In addition, because he is only eligible for SSI, any income of any kind at any point in his life is going to threaten his ability to keep collecting.
I am going to try to convince the judge to change her decision and go back three weeks. There is no guarantee this will work, however.
This really shows the importance of being timely regarding the various deadlines that Social Security uses in calculating eligibility for benefits. It suggests the importance of applying as soon as possible. It also is proof that a person trying to get disability benefits needs to see his or her own doctor as often as is necessary. The more medical evidence there is in the file, the less likely it is that a judge can find that a three-week period marked the difference between being disabled and not being disabled.
If you have questions about this or anything else, please do not hesitate to call or email.