Getting older can be wonderful in some ways and challenging in others. Often, getting older means that age-related illnesses and injuries occur more frequently. This is not to mention other disabling conditions that might begin at a younger age but carry on throughout later years. As a result, people often wonder about Social Security Disability benefits, and whether the rules change after age 50 and 60. It’s an important question to ask, as being prepared and knowing what to expect can provide peace of mind and help with planning ahead for the future.
First and foremost, it is important to understand that regardless of age, if you have worked a job through which you paid into the Social Security system for a sufficient length of time, or if you are below a certain income level and disabled, you may be eligible to apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSD) benefits. This doesn’t mean that age isn’t important, however.
Generally, if you are under the age of 50, the Social Security Administration will classify you as a “younger individual,” regardless of whether you are seeking Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSD) benefits. Typically, after reaching the age of 50, it becomes easier for individuals to seek and qualify for disability benefits, as 50 is considered a more “advanced age” for that purpose. Usually, the older an individual is, the easier it is to apply for and receive benefits, as special rules generally apply for those over the age of 50, 55, or 60.
Taking A Closer Look At Age-Related Assessments
By the time many individuals have reached the age of 50, they have worked for many years, during which time they have paid into the Social Security system. As a result, both in consideration of age and significant work history, Social Security generally is more likely to grant disability benefits than it would be for younger individuals.
If you are over the age of 50 and you have a disabling condition and can no longer perform the sort of work you have done in the past, Social Security must take your age into account when considering whether or not you can work. Practically, this means that for those over 50 who are disabled, the Social Security Administration will look at a few factors in determining benefits. These include:
- The disabling condition;
- Education level;
- And work history.
Concerning work history, Social Security will consider the individual’s age and disability within the context of four categories of functioning capacity. These include:
- Sedentary: Work that generally does not involve lifting more than 10 pounds;
- Light: Work that requires lifting 10 pounds or less frequently, with occasional lifting as high as 20 pounds;
- Medium: Work that involves frequent lifting of more than 25 pounds, and occasional lifting of up to 50 pounds; and
- Heavy: Work that involves frequent lifting of more than 50 pounds.
Typically, age and functional capacity are important, and the Social Security Administration will look at both together. For example:
- Those from ages 50 to 54 may still be able to perform sedentary labor and collect benefits;
- Those ages 55 to 59 may be eligible for Social Security disability benefits even if they can perform light work;
- Lastly, those between 60 and 64 years of age may receive disability benefits even if they can perform medium work.
Generally, the Social Security Administration‘s method of assessing functional work capacity in this way means that those who are over 50 have a much higher chance of being approved for disability benefits than those who are younger. As your age, that likelihood increases.
Ultimately, however, when you’re applying for benefits it will be important to seek legal help and advice as to your individual circumstances. After all, each person is different and every situation is unique. A knowledgeable and experienced attorney will be able to review your circumstances with you and advise you as to the best legal strategy for pursuing the disability benefits you need.
The Law Office Of Daniel Berger – Here For You
If you find yourself in need of Social Security disability benefits, you may find the process of pursuing those benefits to be overwhelming – and that’s okay. You should know that you’re not alone in feeling that way. The law can be complex and confusing – and that’s why, at The Law Office of Daniel Berger, we’re here to help. We’ll guide you through the process every step of the way so that you can focus on your health, your happiness, and enjoying your life with those you love. If you’re ready to get started, we’re ready to help. Give us a call. We look forward to speaking with you soon.