Although age often has little correlation to the severity of a disability, age can play an important factor in receiving Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits. Social security has established age categories to help with the disability decision process. Depending on the category that fits your age group, your chances of being initially approved for SSD may go up or down.
The four main age range categories referenced by the Social Security Administration (SSA) are:
- Individuals who are 18 to 44 are considered “young individuals” and those 45 to 49 are “younger individuals.” When someone is under 50, they must prove that they can no longer perform any past work they had completed in the last fifteen years. They also have to show that they cannot perform sedentary work, which is a sitting job with minimal lifting of 10 lbs. or less. The job could also be a sit-stand option in which the person would be able to alternate sitting and standing.
- When an individual is 50 to 54, they are considered to be in the age category of “closely approaching advanced age.” In that category, if the individual cannot perform their past work and can only perform sedentary work, they will be deemed disabled.
- If an individual is 55 to 60, they are in the age category of “advanced age”. If the individual cannot perform past work and limited to light work, which is defined as standing and walking 6 hours and occasional lifting of 20 lbs., they will be found disabled.
- If an individual is 60 to 65, they will be within the category of “approaching retirement age”. Individuals in this category will most likely be found disabled unless they have highly marketable skills, which are transferable to another job with little, if any, vocational adjustment.
Age is just one factor that social security uses to evaluate a claim. If the individual is 50 or older, it is usually easier to qualify for disability. This does not mean if the individual is under 50 that they will not qualify for disability. A younger individual has a harder case to prove, though.
It is very important to consult with an attorney to have your case evaluated for all aspects of disability, especially if you are aged 60 or younger. Metzger Wickersham in Pennsylvania can help. We have a team of Social Security Disability lawyers ready to make your SSD application and process easier for you by providing thorough and compassionate legal guidance.
To arrange a FREE consultation with our law firm, call (888) 286-2850 now.