Filing for Social Security Disability After Age 50


If you’re over 50 and have been struggling to work due to a physical or mental impairment, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefits. However, filing for Social Security disability after age 50 can be a complex process, and it’s essential to understand the rules and regulations involved to increase your chances of receiving benefits.


Social Security Disability Rules After Age 50



The Age Factor


The age factor is significant when determining eligibility for SSD or SSI benefits. As individuals age, they may become more susceptible to illnesses and injuries that can affect their ability to work. Social Security recognizes this and provides separate criteria for those over 50 years old. Individuals over the age of 50 may be considered more vulnerable and have a higher likelihood of receiving SSD benefits.



Level of Education


An individual’s educational level can also play a role in determining whether they’re eligible for SSD benefits. Social Security looks at an individual’s education level and work experience. An individual may qualify for “desk jobs” that require less physical activity with a higher level of education. However, individuals with minimal formal education may not be able to qualify for these jobs, and their eligibility may depend on other factors.



Work History


Those with a work history of fifteen years or more are more likely to be eligible for SSD benefits. Suppose an individual is over the age of 50 and has no longer been able to perform work duties performed in the last 15 years. In that case, they may be eligible for SSD benefits. However, if an individual can still perform some of the work done within their job history, the Social Security Administration may not approve their claim for benefits.



Medical Treatment Documentation


When filing for SSD, it is essential to provide proper medical documentation. The documentation should support and verify an individual’s medical conditions and restrictions. Without proper medical documentation, the claim may be denied, even if it meets the criteria for SSD benefits based on an individual’s age, work history, and education level.



Grid Rules and Social Security



There are two ways to qualify for disability benefits: approval based on the Blue Book or approval through a Medical Vocational Allowance. Once you’re over the age of 50, the Medical Vocational Allowance becomes more significant.

Moreover, when an applicant is over 50, the Social Security Administration (SSA) applies what’s known as the “grid rules.” These are a set of yes or no questions that help determine whether you’re eligible for disability benefits. By breaking down age categories into five-year increments and considering residual functional capacity (RFC), the SSA determines whether or not you’re disabled. This means they consider factors like your medical history, work experience, and education.

The RFC rating is crucial as it describes your ability to perform work-related tasks. For example, if you’re unable to stand for long periods or lift heavy objects, it significantly impacts your ability to work. If your RFC score is low, you’re more likely to be approved for SSDI benefits.


Qualified Work Over 50



The SSA defines “Qualified Work” as having worked long enough and recently under Social Security to earn enough credits to be eligible for benefits. For older applicants, the required amount of earned credits is lower than that of younger applicants. This is because the agency recognizes that as people age, it becomes more challenging to maintain steady employment for extended periods. This means that if you’re over the age of 50 and have worked for a shorter duration than a younger applicant, you might still be eligible to receive disability benefits.



Get the Expert Support You Need to File for Benefits.



The Social Security Administration (SSA) understands that disabilities can become increasingly challenging as you age, which is why they have specific rules that acknowledge the unique circumstances of older applicants. Meeting the requirements as an older applicant can be crucial when filing for Social Security Disability benefits. That’s why it’s essential to ensure you have the support of an experienced Social Security Disability attorney who can guide you through the process and help you obtain a favorable outcome. At Gallon, Takacs & Boissoneault, we have been representing clients for over 65 years and have the expertise to help you navigate the complexities of the Social Security Disability process. Give us a call at 419-843-6663 to schedule your free consultation, or contact us online today.