Have you ever wondered how old you have to be to qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits? Is there a minimum age? Can you be “too young” to be disabled? Read on to learn about how a claimant’s age can affect his or her disability benefits application.
How Age Factors Into the Disability Application Process
The Social Security Administration (SSA) considers several factors, including age, when determining whether a Claimant is entitled to Social Security Disability Benefits or Supplemental Security Income. In short, if you are over 50 your chances of being approved for disability benefits are higher than those of a younger person. This is because the SSA believes that it is difficult for older disabled workers to transition to a new career.
Residual Functional Capacity (RFC)
The Social Security Administration has established five physical categories to help evaluate the type of work an individual can perform with the limitations caused by their disabling conditions: sedentary, light, medium, heavy, and very heavy work. Sedentary work requires that you lift up to 10 pounds at a time. Light work requires that you lift up to 20 pounds at a time and 10 pounds frequently. Work is also classified as skilled or unskilled.
Age and RFC
Claimants aged 18 to 44 are considered “young” individuals, those 45-49 are “younger” individuals. To be approved for disability benefits, individuals in these “young” and “younger” groups must be found to be unable to perform any unskilled sedentary work, that is, work involving mostly sitting with minimal concentration required.
Claimants aged 50-54 are considered to be closely approaching advanced age. Claimants in this group are considered disabled if they are limited to sedentary work, are unable to perform their past work, and have no transferable skills form past work.
Claimants aged 55 and over are considered “advanced age.” Claimants in this group are considered disabled if they are limited to light work, are unable to perform their past work, and have no transferable skills form past work.
Are you under 50 and applying for social security benefits? An experienced disability attorney can significantly increase your chances of receiving a favorable decision even if you are a younger claimant.
Call Lewis, Lewis & Falkner today at 205-553-5353 for a free consultation about your disability case.