Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) was established for a reason. It is a program run by the Social Security Administration (SSA) that helps those who need financial and other assistance because they are no longer able to work. Many people across the country, every day suffer from a disability. Disabling conditions affect more lives than we realize. Fortunately, monthly disability payments can make a world of difference.
As stated, the SSA is the federal agency responsible for delivering these payments. Sadly, the SSA estimates that the average 20-year-old worker has a 25% chance of becoming disabled before reaching full retirement age.
In other words, disability can hit when we least expect it.
Unfortunately, getting approved for benefits is hard. The SSA continues to deny the overwhelming majority of applicants on their first attempt. Older applicants, however, may have a better chance of being approved for benefits.
If you have become disabled and are older than 55, you need to act immediately. The Social Security Administration considers the 55-59-year-old age bracket as “advanced age.” Because of this categorization, you may be eligible for benefits that a younger applicant would not receive.
The SSA will begin by evaluating your work capacity and your impairing condition by closely evaluating your disability. If your disability matches or is “equal” to the criteria listed for a condition in SSA’s listing of impairments, you may be approved to receive benefits.
“The Odds of Winning Social Security Disability Over Age 55 Are In Your Favor”
The SSA may also find that your condition does not meet the criteria listed in its listing of impairments. If this happens, you will be assessed based on SSA’s Medical-Vocational Grid, which will look at:
Your work capacity can also be called your Residual Functional Capacity (RFC). This basically determines what level of work you can still perform despite limitations caused by your condition. The most limited claimants can only perform sedentary work at best. The highest functioning claimants can perform very heavy work. This type of work includes lifting, moving, and manipulating very heavy objects.
Your RFC is also factored in with your skill level. You can be skilled, semi-skilled or unskilled, according to SSA’s grid. Applicants with lower skill levels and RFCs are more likely to receive benefits.
Again, if you are currently unable to work and are aged 55 to 64, you should apply for Social Security disability benefits. Even if you do not know the expected duration of your disability, you should apply because there are no penalties. Applying sooner rather than later may actually have numerous advantages.
Some of the most common questions we receive are about early retirement benefits.
Although SSDI rules become more favorable for claimants 50 years of age or older, the rules become even more favorable for people over the age of 54. This makes Disability Over 55 significantly more attainable.
Even so, many people disabled at age 62 choose to file a claim for early retirement benefits instead. Generally speaking, this is often a mistake because the Social Security system penalizes people who retire early.
By receiving Social Security Disability Benefits until retirement age, you can avoid these penalties. The process is not nearly as complicated for knowledgeable attorneys with experience in handling disability claims. In many cases, our lawyers can help clients 54 and older get approved on the initial application. Clients over age 55 may be even more likely to be approved without needing to appeal.