Is It Easier To Get Disability After Age 55?
Social Security Disability (SSD) is designed for a reason. It is a social security program that helps those who need help most. Many people across the country, every day, suffer from disability. Disabling conditions affect more lives than we realize. Fortunately, monthly disability payments can make a world of difference.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) is the federal agency responsible for delivering these payments. Sadly, the SSA estimates that the average 20-year-old worker has a 25% of becoming disabled before reaching full retirement age.
In other words, disability can hit when we least expect it.
Unfortunately, getting benefits is hard. The SSA continues to deny the overwhelming majority of applicants. Older applicants, however, may still have a good chance of approval.
Disability Over Age 55
If you’ve become disabled and are older than 55, you need to act immediately. The Social Security Administration (SSA) considers the 55-59 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. The SSA will also closely evaluate your disability. If your disability matches or is “equal” to a listed condition, you may receive benefits.
The Social Security Disability over 55 Odds of Winning are in your favour.
However, the SSA may also find that you do not match or equal any conditions. If this happens, you will be assessed based on the SSA’s Medical-Vocational Grid. You will be assessed on your (1) work skills, (2) your work skills transferability, (3) your work capacity, and (4) your education level.
Your work capacity can also be called your Residual Functional Capacity (RFC). This basically determines what level of work you can perform. 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 work skills level. You can be skilled, semi-skilled or unskilled. Applicants with low skill levels and RFCs are most likely to receive benefits.
SSD/SSI Benefits for People Age 55 and Older
Again, if you are currently unable to work and are aged 55 to 64, you should apply for Social Security disability (SSD) benefits. Even if you don’t know the expected duration of your disability, you should apply. The bottom line is that there are no penalties. Rather, applying sooner than later may have numerous advantages.
At the law offices of Chermol & Fishman, LLC in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, we are very familiar with Social Security Disability Over 55. Our lawyers handle claims at the administrative levels of the process for clients in eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware. We even handle federal appeals for individuals and clients of other law firms nationwide.
If you have any questions, ask our lawyers or post on a Disability Over 55 Forum.
One of the most common questions we receive concerns early retirement benefits.
SSD or Early Retirement
Although SSD rules become more favourable for claimants 50 years of age or older, the rules become even more favourable 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 a mistake. This is 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 often not nearly as complicated as claimants may think. 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 get approved without appeals.