Qualifying for disability benefits can be very hard but not impossible

Someone wrote the following on the facebook page for "I'm beginning to think you have to be dead to receive it."

Not quite...but if a person does not meet or equal a listing, it can be difficult to get approved if they are under age 55 (advanced age) and absolutely more difficult if they are under age 45.

To understand more of the process, see the following:

The requirements for disability
How to win disability

The medical vocational rules for physical ranges of work capacity are not generous for individuals below those ages. However, that does not mean that a person cannot get approved if they fit into the younger age bands. A combination of mental and physical impairments can often have the effect of negating a person's ability to both A) return to their past work and B) switch to some type of other work.

I would say that if a person is a younger individual, certain younger than 45, and they are going to a hearing they would be extremely foolish to go without representation because that is when a theory of the case will need to be formulated and presented to the administrative law judge.

For individuals 50 and older (more favorable vocational rules) and individuals 55 and over (even more favorable vocational rules), cases do not usually present such an uphill climb.

About the Author: Tim Moore is a former Social Security Disability Examiner in North Carolina, has been interviewed by the NY Times and the LA Times on the disability system, and is an Accredited Disability Representative (ADR) in North Carolina. For assistance on a disability application or Appeal in NC, click here.

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