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Is Age a Disability? How Age Factors into SSD Determination

February 9, 2020

Individuals of all ages can receive social security disability benefits. This much is true. But, age certainly is a determining factor when it comes to the Social Security Administration (SSA) determining who is eligible for disability benefits.

Is Age a Disability?

Now, just because the SSA does have a grid of likelihood for benefit approval, this doesn’t mean that age itself is a disability. No matter the age, there still have to be factors involved that limit the individual’s ability to work.

Social Security Disability Age Groups

The SSA uses different age groups in addition to residual functioning capacity, past work history and much more to determine if benefits are needed. The age groups that the SSA uses are:

  • 18-44: Considered young individuals45-49: Considered younger individuals
  • 50-54: Considered closer to approaching advanced age
  • 55 and older: Considered advanced age
  • 60 to 65 and over: Considered approaching retirement age

older worker manual laborAgain, this is not a perfect system of determining social security disability eligibility because health and other factors must always come into play. However, if someone is in the 50-54 age group, for example, the medical-vocational grid rules are much more favorable for them than someone that is in the previous two age groups. This is simply because their work history is likely aligned with being able to receive benefits, and they are less likely to be able to perform the same or similar job function after an injury than someone who is younger.

Education is an often overlooked factor in social security disability determination as well. While healthy, having a higher education level is generally advantageous in finding and retaining work. But with a disability, not having a high education level can hinder someone’s ability to find and perform a job, and often higher education jobs are less manual labor based. Therefore, the SSA needs to take education into consideration to some degree.

In addition, conditions can range far beyond just physical limitation, as mental limitations can play into disability determination as well. With any kind of disability, it is extremely important that an individual has solid documentation of the limitation to present in a case.

Getting an Attorney Involved

In any social security disability case, and especially appeals, an individual is most likely to get approved when they have an attorney involved. Attorneys have the experience and understanding of how to properly present the case to exponentially increase the chance of an approval for benefits.

For questions, call 844-432-0114 for a risk-free evaluation.

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