When a worker reaches the age of 50, it becomes easy for them to qualify for Social Security disability benefits. This is because the Social Security Administration (SSA) takes into account the slow recovery from injuries or illnesses and the difficulty a person may face in shifting to a different type of work. The SSA lowers its qualification requirements as a worker turns 50, and they keep on getting more lenient as they become older.
Special Rules for People Over 50
Your health condition and ability to engage in work you used to do before or perform a different type of work are the major considerations for SSD determinations. With age, both of these factors start declining, which is why older workers are given favorable treatment in the Medical-Vocational Guidelines, commonly known as the Grid Rules. These are the rules that the SSA looks at when evaluating the eligibility of a worker for disability benefits after establishing that you are unable to perform the work you were able to before becoming disabled.
Five different categories have been included in the grid by the SSA based on the functioning capacity or exertional levels of a worker after disability:
5. Very heavy
These levels are divided based on the functional capacity and the age bracket of disabled workers. For example, if a worker is between the age of 50 and 54, they may avail SSD benefits even if they can perform sedentary labor. Similarly, if the worker lies in the age bracket of 50 and 59 and can perform light work, they will be eligible to receive the benefits. Those between 60 and 64 can apply for SSD benefit even though they can perform medium work. What is considered as sedentary, light, medium, and heavy work and the requirements for eligibility are all laid out in the Medical-Vocational Guidelines.
Why the SSA provides SSD Benefits Relatively Easily to People Over 50
- The reason behind it simple: workers belonging to these age groups have only few opportunities to find work other than their respective field. This is due to:
- Their physical and mental health conditions
- The fact that a majority of employers are unwilling to hire a person in their 50s or above as they need better compensation, are difficult to train, and likely require more frequent health insurance claims
- Their job skills may be outdated or not as valuable in the marketplace like they used to before
Considering all of these facts and others, the SSA has made it easier for older workers to qualify for SSD benefits. However, there are still chances that your application may be turned down, even after the special rules are applicable to you. In such situations, you may want to consult an experienced Social Security disability attorney to determine why your application was denied and what your next step should be to avail the benefits.
Harold W. Conick & Associates Ltd has been successfully representing clients for over 30 years to get their rightful benefits. Contact us today at (800) 608-8881 to schedule a consultation with our Social Security disability attorney.