Overview of Disability
Disability Back Pay
Requirements for Disability
Applications for disability
Tips and Advice for Disability Claims
How long does Disability take?
Winning Disability Benefits
Common Mistakes after a Denial
Mental Disability Benefits
Denials for Disability
Appeals for denied claims
Disability Benefits from SSA
Child Disability Benefits
Qualifications and How to Qualify
Working and Disability
Disability Awards and Notices
Disability Lawyers, Hiring Attorneys
Social Security List of Conditions
What Social Security considers disabling
Medical Evidence and Disability
Filing for Disability Benefits
Eligibility for Disability Benefits
SSD SSI Definitions
SSDRC authored by Tim Moore
Ask a question, get an answer
Social Security Disability, SSI and Being Over the Age of Fifty
Does age play a role in the outcome of social security disability and SSI disability claims? Not by necessity, but age often does. Here are just a few ways.
1. If you are a minor-age child, your condition or conditions may potentially fall under the direction of a different set of impairment listings than the listings that are set forth for adults (listings are approval criteria for a finite set of physical and mental conditions -- meet or equal the listing criteria for a certain illness and you may be approved for benefits).
2. If you are an adult and your condition or conditions do not satisfy the criteria of an adult impairment listing (in the social security list of impairments, or blue book), then an approval will need to be achieved via the awarding of a medical vocational allowance. Such allowances give adults an advantage based on age.
Basically, as the medical vocational disability requirements currently dictate, the ages fifty and fifty-five are noteworthy. In many cases, there is a distinct advantage to being 50 years of age or older. And for individuals who are 55 or older, the rules for SSD and SSI become even more favorable.
Why is this the case? Simply because, as unfair as the disability system is, it does incorporate some level of fairness by acknowledging that individuals who are over fifty, or fifty-five, will have more difficulty switching to different types of work. This comes into play when a disability claim is being evaluated and it is clear to the decision-maker (a disability examiner or judge) that the claimant cannot return to their former work. Many would think that this would be the "end of it" and that the claimant would be approved for benefits on this basis.
However, the disability system does not work like this. In the SSD and SSI disability claim system, if you cannot return to your past work on the basis of a disabling condition, the possibility still exists that you may be denied on the basis of being able to perform some type of other work.
And that's where individuals who are 50 and older, and 55 and older, are given consideration. Because the simple truth is, many individuals in these age groups will have more limited opportunities to find other types of work due to:
A) their health or mental conditions,
B) the fact that their job skills may not be as valuable in the marketplace as they once were, and
C) due to the real-world reality that many employers will not hire older workers since they perceive that older workers will be more difficult to train, may require higher rates of compensation, and may be more likely to file health insurance claims (risking higher premium costs for employer-provided heath care).
Return to: Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions
Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions and in these subsections:
Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits | FAQ on Disability Claim Representation | Info about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | FAQ on Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The SSD SSI Decision Process and what gets taken into consideration | Disability hearings before Judges | Medical exams for disability claims | Applying for Disability in various states | Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers | Applying for Disability in North Carolina | Recent articles and answers to questions about SSD and SSI
These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.
Filing for disability - How to file for SSD or SSI and the Information that is needed by Social Security
How to Apply for Disability - What medical conditions can you apply and qualify for?
Applying for Disability - How long does it take to get Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?
What happens if I file a disability application and it is denied by a disability examiner or Judge?
How to Prove you are disabled and qualify to win disability benefits
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition or impairment?
Social Security Disability Back pay and How Long it Takes to Qualify for it and receive it
Social Security Disability SSI - Eligibility Requirements and Qualifications Criteria