How to file for disability, Filing for SSI
Disability Requirements, Disability Status
How long is the wait?, Disability Application
The Social Security List of Impairments
Qualifying for Disability, Mental Disability
Disability Lawyer Info, Disability Back Pay

Can Younger People Get Disability Benefits?

While there is no doubt that it is more difficult to be approved for Social Security Disability or approved for Supplemental Security Income disability if you are a younger individual, it is not impossible.

Social Security uses a disability guidebook that contains a listing of impairments for all of the body systems and the criteria needed to meet the severity requirements of the various impairment listings. If a person meets or can equal an impairment listing’s criteria, they are found disabled whether they are an older or younger adult (there are separate listings for children). It becomes more difficult if a younger person is not able to meet or equal the severity requirements of the impairment listing that deals with their disabling condition.

If an individual does not meet or equal the social security criteria of an impairment listing, their disabling condition is evaluated through a five-step sequential evaluation process that definitely favors older individuals. The five step sequential process begins with a determination as to whether or not the disability claimant is working, and if those earnings are considered substantial gainful work or SGA (a monthly earnings amount that Social Security considers self supporting).

It ends with an evaluation as to whether or not a person can do any past work or other work when their residual functional capacity (what the person is able to do in spite of the limitations of their disabling condition) is considered.

Social Security uses vocational rules that consider a person’s age, education, residual functional capacity, and whether or not their job skills could transfer into a job that they could perform with their limitations. And, unfortunately, age is a very important consideration when determining what a person might be able to do.

What do I mean by this? If a person is forty and they are limited to light work--meaning that they can lift ten to twenty pounds--they are more likely to be found not disabled than a person who is fifty-five years old or more who is able to lift ten to twenty pounds.

Generally, medical vocational allowances are more prevalent for individuals who are over fifty and most certainly fifty-five and above. However, there are younger individuals who have residual functional capacities that are so restrictive as to render them unable to perform any of their past work or any other work; thus they can be approved for disability benefits through a medical vocational allowance.

If you are a younger person and you are unable to work at a level that is considered to be SGA due to a physical or mental disability, you should file for disability with Social Security. Do not be discouraged if your initial disability claim is denied or even if your reconsideration appeal is denied; your chances of being approved at a disability hearing are much greater.

Disability claimants, whether younger or older, who appeal their disability claims to an administrative law judge disability hearing are likely to win their case. In fact, sixty percent claimants who are represented and attend disability hearings are approved for disability benefits. This means that a lot of younger people win their disability benefits if they are tenacious about appealing disability denials.

Essential Questions

What is the Social Security Disability SSI list of impairments?

Can you work while getting or applying for Disability?

How Often Does Social Security Approve Disability The First Time You Apply?

Tips for getting Social Security Disability or SSI benefits approved

What medical conditions will get you approved for disability?

What kind of Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?

Receiving a Disability Award Letter

Conditions Social Security will recognize as a disability

Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI

Applying for disability in your state

Most popular topics on SSDRC.com

Social Security Disability SSI Questions

The listings, list of disabling impairments

Can a mental illness qualify you for disability?

Disability Lawyers prevent unnecessary denials

How much Social Security Disability SSI back pay?

How to apply for disability for a child or children

Filing a Social Security Disability SSI application

Filing for disability - when to file

How to apply for disability - where to apply

Qualifications for disability benefits

How to Prove you are disabled and Win your Disability Benefits

Qualifying for Disability - The Process

How to get disability for depression

Getting disability for fibromyalgia

SSI disability for children with ADHD

What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?

Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability

Social Security Disability SSI Exam tips

More Social Security Disability SSI Questions

Social Security Disability SSI definitions

What makes you eligible for Social Security Disability or SSI?

New and featured pages on SSDRC.com

Who can help me file for disability?

Related pages:

Is there an age requirement for disability, how old must you be?
How does age affect a disability case if you are 49 or 50?
If You Are 62, Should You File For Social Security or Social Security Disability?
What is the process for approving a Social Security Disability claim?
How does SSA determine if a claim will be a denial or an approval?
Do you have to quit your job before filing for disability?
Can you qualify for Social Security Disability on the basis of fibromyalgia?
What are the requirements and criteria for Social Security Disability?
Can you get disability if you are younger age?
Disability at age 50 or older
Social Security Disability SSI and proving you can't work
How Residual Functional Capacity affects Social Security Disability and SSI claims
If I am waiting for a Disability Hearing, how often should I see my doctor?
Calling Social Security about a Disability Exam that was scheduled
How does social security decide your disability claim?

These pages provide answers to basic questions about pursuing disability benefits

How to file for disability, filing tips
What to Prove to Qualify for Disability Benefits
Applying for disability benefits, SSI and SSDI
What Disabilities Qualify for SSI and Social Security Disability?
Will you get disability back pay?
Social Security Disability And SSI Qualifications
Permanent Disability Qualifications for SSD and SSI
Social Security Disability SSI status
Disability lawyer representation, finding lawyers
Who will qualify for disability and what qualifying is based on
Qualifications for Disability Benefits
Important points about filing for disability
How long does it take to get disability after applying?
Am I Eligible For Social Security Disability?
Who is eligible for SSI disability?
How to get disability in Florida

For the sake of clarity, SSDRC.com is not the Social Security Administration, nor is it associated or affiliated with SSA. This site is a personal, private website that is published, edited, and maintained by former caseworker and former disability claims examiner, Tim Moore, who was interviewed by the New York Times on the topic of Social Security Disability and SSI benefits in an article entitled "The Disability Mess" and also by the Los Angeles Times on the subject of political attempts to weaken the Social Security Disability system.

The goal of the site is to provide information about how Social Security Disability and SSI work, the idea being that qualified information may help claimants pursue their claims and appeals, potentially avoiding time-consuming mistakes. If you find the information on this site helpful and believe it would be helpful to others, feel free to share links to its homepage or other pages on website resource pages, blogs, or social media. Copying of this material, however, is prohibited.

To learn more about the author, please visit the SSDRC.com homepage and view the "about this site" link near the bottom of the page.