When you reach 55, it becomes easier to get approved for disability benefits. This is because the Social Security Administration (SSA) believes that those of an older age may have less chance of being employed in a new field, especially if they have some sort of disability and find it harder to take on new skills if they are unable to work in their usual job due to a disability.
However, being of an older age isn’t a guarantee that you will qualify for disability benefits as you need to follow the application process in much the same way as younger applicants. One of the key requirements that needs to be met is proving you have a disability that prevents you from working in any job for at least 12 months.
Why Is Over 55 Easier To Get Disability Benefits?
There are several reasons why it is easier to qualify for disability benefits at an older age. The SSA considers that it is harder for an older person to train for a new job. Also, older people have generally accumulated sufficient work credits which are necessary to qualify for SSDI. For older people the SSA uses additional criteria when carrying out an assessment which is referring to grid rules.
What Additional Criteria Is Used When You Are Over 55?
When you apply to the SSA for disability benefits, it will decide if your disability meets its strict criteria for impairment. If you fail to meet the SSA’s requirements, then you will be denied the chance to get disability benefits.
However, if you are over the age of 55, the SSA refers to grid rules or Social Security’s disability rules. These grids are tables that take into account several different factors to determine if an individual is considered disabled or not. These factors include your residual functional capacity, education level, previous work history and age.
If you file an application for disability benefits under the SSA’s disability rules for those over the age of 55, the SSA will start the assessment process by using the results of your residual functional capacity (RFC) assessment. This assessment determines what level of work you may be capable of doing such as sedentary, light, medium or heavy.
Once you have been put into a category the SSA will then look at your age, your level of education, and your prior work experience. From these features it will determine your eligibility for disability benefits. The more limited your RFC, education, and work experience, the higher the chance of qualifying for disability benefits.
Get Help With Your Claim
Under the SSA disability rules the older you are, the easier it can be to get disability benefits. However, there is a lot of evidence that needs to be provided to the SSA before the determination process even begins.
If you seek help from a lawyer, you may have a higher chance of a successful outcome to your application for disability benefits than if you tried to file an application on your own.
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