Indianapolis woman over 50 applies for disability

Special Rules for Disability Over 50

Could Help You Get Financial Relief

You haven’t made it to retirement yet, but health problems are blocking you from working. Now you worry your money’s going to run out, all because life didn’t go as planned.

Support is available for people in exactly your situation. Social Security Disability benefits provide monthly checks that help you pay your bills and lead a stable life.

Even better, getting disability over 50 can be easier because special rules apply when you reach a more experienced age in the workforce.

Much of the time, it’s difficult to win disability benefits. Most people are denied on the first try, which is why being over 50 could help you.

But you want to make sure when you’re applying for disability benefits that you explain how your health impairments combine with your work experience and your age to prove to Social Security that you can’t work and should receive financial help.

The disability advocates at Hanley Disability know how to use the special rules for people over 50 to give you a strong disability claim. We focus on helping people in Indiana secure disability income. We’ve helped thousands of people for more than 45 years.

Talk to us in Indianapolis, Danville, Franklin, Lebanon, Noblesville and across Central Indiana.
Social Security Disability Is All We Do.

Social Security Disability Is All We Do.

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Over 50?

If you’re between 50 and 66 and can’t work, special provisions in Social Security Disability may apply to your case. Call us today to start your claim. 317.290.1800

Elderly disability woman happy after receiving social security disability benefits

Special Rules for Disability after 50


When Social Security evaluates applications for disability benefits, it puts people in different age groups:

  • “Younger Person” (18-49): Your problems must make it impossible for you to work in any job at all.
  • “Closely Approaching Advanced Age” (50-54): To get disability benefits, you must be unable to maintain just your most recent job.
  • “Person of Advanced Age” (55 and up): Social Security becomes more lenient in deciding whether you can still work.

The key to applying for disability over 50 is that Social Security considers you less likely to switch to new lines of work at this age. That means Social Security is more likely to decide you can’t work at all—and approve your benefits.

Social Security reaches this decision using what it calls the “grid rules,” plotting your age against your education level, skill level and overall ability to function day to day.

The measure of your daily abilities is called your “residual functional capacity.” Social Security calculates residual functional capacity using medical evidence to decide how well you can perform basic physical movements, like walking, reaching and lifting. Then it plugs the result into the grid rules.

When weakened health is already limiting your energy level, getting through this process can seem like a full-time job on its own.

An experienced disability advocate can take over your disability application and take the pressure off you.

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Does My Health Problem Qualify for Social Security Disability Over 50?

Another part of applying for disability after 50 is the possibility that you may have more health conditions at a more senior age.

For Social Security Disability, you must have a qualifying medical impairment.

If you don’t have a diagnosis officially recognized by Social Security, you can also qualify based on individual severe symptoms that limit your residual functional capacity.

And you can qualify when you have multiple medical conditions that may combine to leave you unable to work. Complicating illnesses can include:

Qualifying for disability over 50 means showing how the demands of your job mix with each of your health limitations and your age to make working impossible—and make you eligible for life-changing financial relief.

You worked hard for a long time.

When bad health interferes, you deserve Social Security Disability benefits because you deserve dignity and independence.

Let’s get started on your claim.

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Basic Rules to Qualify for Disability

Everyone who applies for disability benefits, no matter their age, must meet these rules:

  • You have a severe health problem.
  • You can’t continue in your job because of your medical condition.
  • You can’t switch to a less strenuous job, either.
  • Your health problems will last at least a year, or they’re permanent.

You can’t just tell Social Security that all of these things are true. You have to prove it. And you prove it with evidence. You’ll need to gather documentation like this:

  • Reports from doctor visits
  • Medical test results
  • Lists of prescriptions
  • Records of hospitalizations
  • Statements from people who know you
  • Your history of jobs for the last 15 years

Why is it easier to get disability after 50?

Because convincing Social Security that you meet these requirements—that you can’t work because of your health—gets easier with age.

Keep reading for how. Or to find out how the rules apply to your specific situation, you can get our disability advocates to review your case for FREE.

Get My Free Evaluation!

Indianapolis couple over the age of 50 happy after winning disability benefits