Applying for Disability Benefits at the Age of 50

When you apply for a disability program, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will first evaluate whether you meet the eligibility criteria to receive benefits or not. You can apply for the disability benefits if your medical condition is not listed in the Blue Book but is severe enough to constitute a disability or the equivalent of a listing. Your health condition or disease should be severe, and should affect your ability to carry out daily activities such as maintaining gainful employment. If you can’t work or function properly because of your disability program, you may be eligible to apply for and receive disability benefits. Not all persons who are above the age of 50 and have medical issues may qualify for benefits. You can claim disability benefits only when you meet all of the SSA eligibility criteria by providing all of the valid documentation to prove your case.


Does age help in getting disability benefits?

A person can become disabled at any age. Therefore, you can apply for the benefits at any age. Note, however, that the rules may slightly differ for persons seeking disability benefits over 50 years of age compared to persons seeking disability benefits under that age. The SSA has categorized different age groups and named 50 to 54 as age groups that are approaching an advanced age. Age plays a significant role, especially for people who are between the ages of 50 and 54. 

The reason for this is because you can seek disability benefits even if you don’t meet the eligibility criteria. After you turn 50, you may be able to get compensation based on medical-vocational grid rules. Therefore, you can get disability benefits in the following two ways: 

  • By meeting the disability criteria – If your condition is severe and you meet the disability listing, you may be considered permanently disabled. In such a case, the other rules won’t be strictly applied. You must meet all of the eligibility conditions, however, in order to be eligible to receive disability benefits.
  • By meeting the medical-vocational grid rules – It is necessary to note that you can get disability benefits after the age of 50 without even meeting the eligibility criteria. You will be assessed based on the grid rules. The Social Security Administration department has some special and specific rules for the disability over 50 program. You will have to fulfill these conditions in order to get the disability benefits.

Rules for claimants who are between the age of 50 to 54.

As mentioned, there are different rules and guidelines for claimants above 50. The SSA has established these as grid rules. The SSA will evaluate your application based on these rules. These Social Security Disability Rules After Age 50 will help the agency determine whether you are suffering from a disability or not. 

If you are above the age of 50, you will be evaluated based on the grid rules. You will be evaluated based on your educational qualifications, skills, and previous work experience. All of the factors will be taken into consideration to evaluate your disability. Here are the factors that are considered in the grid rules: 

  • Residual Functional Capacity – The SSA will evaluate the amount of work that you can perform and have performed. They will check whether you can do work-related activities and how much strength you possess to be able to do work. An assessment may include activities such as walking, pushing, lifting, and standing. The RFC is further classified into different levels – sedentary, light, medium, bulky, and very heavy. If your RFC value is higher, there is a much lesser chance that you may qualify for disability benefits. The SSA may state that you are eligible to perform non-intensive labor work or other tasks that don’t involve or need certain skills and qualifications. 
  • Educational Qualifications – The disability over 50 program will also consider your qualifications. The level of education is mainly classified into four categories – illiterate, 11th grade or lower, and high school graduate. The last category says that you have just completed training or education that makes you eligible for a skilled or entry-level job. If you are literate and qualified enough, you may have a lesser chance of qualifying for disability benefits. If you don’t possess many qualifications or cannot speak and communicate properly, you may have a higher chance of being eligible to receive disability benefits. 
  • Previous work experience – Another critical factor that will be considered is your previous work experience. If you don’t have much experience, the chances that the SSA will consider your application for the disability benefits may be higher. The amount and capacity at which you have worked on in the past will also make a difference in your eligibility criteria. 
  • Transferability of skills – The SSA will check whether the skills you have learned in your past jobs are transferable or not. Based on all of these factors and grid rules, the SSA will decide whether you are eligible to receive disability benefits or not. Consider all of these factors to determine your eligibility criteria for disability benefits. 

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    How to apply for benefits after 50?

    To know if you qualify to apply for disability benefits if you are over the age of 50, you must first determine your eligibility criteria by using the disability listing or the grid rules. If you meet the Social Security Disability rules after 50, you can commence the application. You will have to fill out the proper application form to start the process. You can get the form from the Social Security Office or download it online. 

    Before you start this process and fill out the application, you must gather all of the necessary documents and evidence. The evidence and paperwork play a significant role in the SSA’s decision as to your eligibility. You won’t be qualified for disability benefits if you don’t have enough evidence and documents to prove that you have a disability. If you have a severe, disabling condition, you must have medical records and evidence to support your case. 

    Speak to a reputable disability attorney today!

    If you are having trouble understanding the rules, you can speak to an experienced disability lawyer. The attorney will help you understand your eligibility criteria and will also help you with the application process. Finding and hiring an attorney with the right expertise by your side will help you make wise decisions. They will guide you and ensure that you are not missing anything important or any critical deadline. 

    At James C. Miller, Ltd. we will help you navigate through the process and make it easier. You can rely on us to help you file for disability benefits so that you can focus on your health condition. If you are above 50 and want to apply for disability benefits, you can speak to us. Our team will help you from the beginning until the end and assist you with gathering and submitting all of the right information. Schedule a free consultation with us today to discuss your case for disability benefits.