Getting Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits is notoriously difficult, and every claim goes through a convoluted process before it is either approved or denied, with many different factors taken into consideration.
One of those factors may be your age at the time your claim is decided.
Why would your age factor into your disability claim?
To qualify for Social Security Disability benefits, you have to show that not only are you no longer capable of doing the work you’ve done before but that you’re incapable of doing any other kind of substantial gainful work activity.
That’s where your age comes into play.
SSA has a set of rules it follows (called a medical-vocational grid) that disability examiners use to determine whether someone can perform regular work activities despite their impairment. The grid takes into account the disability applicant’s limitations based on their medical conditions, their education and training, prior work experience — and their age.
Generally speaking (although there are a few exceptions), the older you are, the easier it is to get your disability claim approved.
Applicants under 50 years of age are usually considered “retrainable,” which means they have more capacity to adjust to another line of work within their limitations than anybody older. Those between 50-54 years of age are generally considered less retrainable, while those over 55 years of age are generally seen as locked into a specific skill set.
Filing for Social Security Disability can be very difficult when you don’t understand what the agency is using to evaluate your claim. If your claim has been denied, it may be time to consider your legal options.