Age often plays a significant role in determining eligibility for Social Security Disability benefits and can be a crucial determinant for whether or not a disability claim is approved or denied. In this article, Kalfus & Nachman's proficient Social Security Disability Lawyers have discussed the effect of the applicant's age on SSDI claims and how an attorney can help.
How Age Affects a Disability Application
The SSA recognizes that education and skills are crucial, and so is the age when reviewing an individual's ability to work. Officials feel that as people age, their options for the job become increasingly limited. A younger individual may learn a new skill or pursue further education and can typically enter a different job sector much more effortlessly than someone who has been in the industry for decades. On the other hand, the older you are, the easier it is to prove your disability.
Although the Social Security Administration (SSA) does not have an age restriction for filing for disability benefits, it pays special attention to the applicant's age. It employs age brackets to establish the prerequisites an individual must fulfill to obtain disability benefits.
To determine disability eligibility, the SSA uses three broad age categories:
- Younger Person (Claimants under age 50) - The SSA believes that those under 50 will have no trouble shifting to other employment rather than being recognized as disabled. However, people aged 45-49 face challenges adjusting to a new job and get treated differently than those yet to reach 45 years of age.
- Person Closely Approaching Advanced Age (Claimants age 50-54) - If you are closely approaching advanced age (age 50-54), the SSA will consider that your age, together with significant impairment(s) and minimal job experience, may seriously hamper your ability to adjust to other work.
- Person of Advanced Age (Claimants age 55 or older) - SSA considers that advanced age (age 55 or older) can significantly affect an individual's ability to adjust to other work. SSA has special rules for persons in this category who are closely approaching retirement age (age 60 or older). They are considered disabled in the absence of secondary education or education if they are limited to sedentary work and have an unskilled or no work history.
The SSA seldom asks you to prove your age but may request proof of your age to determine whether you qualify for SSD benefits. In establishing how much age impacts a person's ability to adjust to new jobs, the advancing age is considered an increasingly limiting factor in making such an adjustment. However, the SSA will not consider your ability to adjust to other work based on your age alone.
If you want to determine whether you get disability benefits or if the amount of your benefit will be affected by your age, discuss your case with Virginia's top-rated SSD Attorneys at Kalfus & Nachman today. Our experts understand the effect of the applicant's age on SSDI claims and can help you navigate the social security disability application process with ease.
Does Being Older Helps in Qualifying for SSDI Benefits
The SSA has a set of standards known as the Medical-Vocational Guidelines that guide disability examiners in evaluating SSDI applications. The analysis of the vocational factors (i.e., age, education, and work experience) in combination with the individual's Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) is done to evaluate the individual's ability to engage in substantial gainful activity in sectors other than their vocationally relevant past work. The RFC determines an individual's maximum sustained work capability for sedentary, light, medium, heavy, or very heavy work.
These rules are generally favorable for advanced age applicants or those nearing retirement age. According to the Social Security Administration, people between the ages of 50 and 54 who are limited to sedentary work or less and do not have work skills that transfer to other types of work are more likely to be approved for disability. When these workers reach an advanced age, Social Security does not expect them to undergo extensive vocational adjustment (retraining) to learn a sedentary job. The SSA feels that the older you are, the more it will affect your ability to do a new type of work to adjust to new employment.
If you are 66 or above, you may not qualify for SSDI benefits because there is a five-month waiting period before your SSD benefits begin. And, there's little to no chance your disability benefits would begin until after you retire. You might as well wait till you retire because your retirement benefit check will arrive sooner.
Don't Let Age Affect Your Disability Claim in VA - Call Kalfus & Nachman
If you cannot work because of a disability and are thinking about applying for SSDI, or if SSA denies you disability benefits, it is best to consult an experienced SSD lawyer in Virginia. A skilled and professional SSD attorney will thoroughly review your case and assist you in putting together your application, considering crucial vocational factors, like age, for the benefits you deserve.
Choose Kalfus & Nachman for exceptional legal assistance with your social security disability claim in Virginia. Attorneys at our firm have the expertise, compassion, and commitment to fight for you until the case gets resolved. Call us for a free consultation today: 855-880-8163