Everyone knows that the process of applying for and obtaining Social Security Disability Insurance benefits (“SSDI” or “disability benefits”) is a long and difficult one. The Social Security Administration (“SSA”) is known for denying over 75% of all first-time disability applications made to them.
It can take up to 5 months just to have your application processed and it can take a year or longer to receive benefits. If you are denied benefits (as most people are initially) you could be looking at several years to take you through the appeals process.
It is also well known that the SSA has strict requirements that must be met before an individual is awarded disability benefits.
To qualify for disability benefits, you need must meet the SSA’s strict definition of “disability,” and you must have worked long enough in jobs that paid into the Social Security system.
The SSA must find that you are disabled and not only unable to do your previous job or jobs, but unable to perform any other work that may exist in the national economy.
A Bit Less Stringent for Older Applicants.
When it comes to disability applicants that are over the age of 50, the process is a little less stringent. If you are 55 or older when you apply for disability benefits, you may have a slight advantage over younger applicants.
Because the SSA typically recognizes the challenges that being older imposes on a disabled worker, especially when it comes to performing “other work” (i.e., jobs the disabled worker has never done before).
A disabled worker over age 50 may also have educational deficiencies from the past that are difficult to overcome.
Another reason why it can be easier to qualify for disability benefits as an older applicant is because many adults over 55 have multiple impairments. Deterioration of joints, heart attacks, cancer and onset of late-in-life vocational diseases such as lung ailments brought on by working conditions are more likely to surface in older applicants. Having a combination of disabling conditions plays a role in being approved for disability benefits.
That said, there is of course, no guarantee that being over 50 or 55 will make it easier for you to qualify for disability benefits because each case is unique.
Let Us Know How We Can Help You.
If you have questions about your disability benefits or have been denied benefits, call us. Our work is helping people who need Social Security Disability Benefits. We are Social Security attorneys. We have offices in a number of cities in Missouri, Kansas, and Illinois, and in several cities in Oklahoma. We offer free consultations and we do not get paid unless you win your case. Contact us today to or connect with us on LinkedIn.