Social Security Disability
When You’re Under 50
Here’s an example: say you’re in your forties and suffer a neck injury that leaves you unable to perform the physically demanding factory work that you’ve done for most of your career.
Unfortunately, this isn’t enough to prove you’re disabled.
The SSA will ask you if there is other work you can hypothetically perform. This includes less physically demanding “sit-down” work like answering phones or viewing security footage.
If the SSA determines you can hypothetically perform a sit-down job, then you won’t win disability benefits. Social Security doesn’t care that it may be difficult to find such a job or that this hypothetical job won’t provide the same income of your prior job.
What Changes in Social Security Disability
Over Age 50?
If you’re between the ages of 50 and 54, you are labeled as “closely approaching advanced age” (Social Security’s label – not ours!). The expectation that you will perform a different kind of job gets less stringent.
At this age, if you’re unable to perform a physically demanding factory job and can only perform a “sit-down” job, you’re still considered disabled under Social Security’s Medical Vocational Guidelines.
The SSA will assume it’s more difficult for you to perform physically demanding jobs as you get older.
At ages 55 – 59 you are considered to be of “advanced age.” The rules shift again, and it becomes even easier to prove your disability.
As you can see, aging has one advantage. You face a more lenient standard to prove disability under Social Security’s rules.
No matter how old (or young) you are, if you need Social Security Disability benefits, call us. We can help you apply or appeal if you were denied.