Disability for People Over 50
Administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA), social security disability delivers regular monthly payments to that in need. These payments vary based on a variety of factors. However, all payments have one thing in common.
They are determined based on a uniquely strict set of criteria.
The criteria established by the SSA for qualification differs between two programs. The first program is Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), designed for disabled workers. The second program is Supplemental Security Income (SSI), designed for people of limited means. Both programs rely on the same strict definition for ‘disability.’
Although most young people will not endure disability, many older people will. As we age, we inevitably become more susceptible to health issues. Many people in their 50s will begin to deal with such issues. Disability onset can be slow or swift. It can be debilitating and crippling.
Fortunately, Social Security over 50 is available.
In fact, people in their 50s have better options now than ever before. If you or some you know is over age 50, help is available. The SSA has now made applying for social security disability (SSD) easier. These changes reflect an increased awareness of ageing populations.
The SSA’s new framework is more realistic. It gives 50 year olds increased opportunities for disability benefits.
Disability Over 50
You may have heard that it’s easier to obtain social security disability (SSD) and SSI benefits after the age of 50. Typically, that is true. The rules do become more favourable in terms of work potential. After all, the Social Security Administration (SSA) routinely evaluates applicants based on their capacity for “gainful” employment.
Often, an applicant’s disability may match one of the SSA’s listed disabilities. If you meet one of these listings, you essentially have a disability that the SSA formally recognizes. Each disability listed by the SSA is considered a “medically determinable impairment.” Many people over 50 may have such impairment.
Applicants 50 and older can also “equal” a listing. If the combined impairments of the applicant are as severe as a listed condition, then the impairments are considered equivalent. Applicants may also have a single impairment that is the “equal” of a listed condition.
However, things are not always so easy. Often times, applicants do not have a matching or equal condition. If this is the case, the SSA relies on the so-called Medical-Vocational Grid.
Social Security Disability Rules After Age 50
When the SSA applies the ‘grid,’ every applicant should be informed. The SSA will consider the claimant’s age as well as the four aspects of the claimant’s comprehensive profile.
These dimensions include the applicant’s:
- Residual functional capacity (RFC)
- Education level
- Prior work skill level, and
- Transferability of prior work skills
The SSA is especially focused on the claimant’s RFC. This capacity takes into account the applicant’s ability to work and exercise strength. These ‘exertional’ limits are based on what the applicant can achieve consistently.
RFC levels range from sedentary work and light work, all the way up to heavy work and very heavy work. Some capacities only allow sitting down and typing. Other capacities mean that the claimant can do heavy lifting and moving.
Lower RFCs may make it easier for applicants to receive Disability Benefits Over 50.
The SSA also carefully examines your skills. You can be determined unskilled, semi-skilled and skilled. More technical, complicated jobs are typically considered skilled. More menial, basic jobs are considered unskilled.
These categories are often based on the classifications of the Department of Labor.
You will also be assessed on the transfer ability of your skills. Typically, workers who performed skilled labor may be able to transfer those skills to semi-skilled and unskilled labor.
The SSA will factor in all of these variables in order to make a determination. For people over 50, the Medical-Vocational Grid may be more lenient. This is because the SSA categorizes people from age 50-54 as “closely approaching advanced age.”
At Chermol & Fishman, LLC, we help individuals of all ages in the Philadelphia metro area, eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware. We understand the Disability over 50 Program. If you are over the age of 50 and are currently unable to work, we encourage you to call or contact our office now for a free consultation.
Although most initial applications for SSD and SSI benefits are denied, you should not worry. With the help of a lawyer, you can significantly improve your likelihood of approval.
If you’re over 50, it’s time to act. Contact us today and begin the claim you need and deserve.