This week we’ve been discussing age and Social Security disability benefits. When discussing the issue, it’s important to understand that your disability isn’t the only factor taken into account when the Social Security Administration (SSA) looks at your case. They also consider how old you are, what work you are trained to do, and whether it makes sense for you to undergo a vocational readjustment.
When making a decision about your disability case, the disability examiners looking at your case will use a guideline called the medical-vocational grid – a tool that lets them consider multiple aspects of your case at once, including your age.
The grid breaks down applicants into three different age groups:
- Younger individuals (ages 18-49)
- Closely approaching advanced age (ages 50-54)
- Advanced age (ages 55-64)
In some cases, those in the two older groups may have a better chance of receiving disability benefits, especially if they are unskilled workers limited to sedentary work. The reason? Older workers aren’t expected to go through retraining or to develop brand new skills for just a few remaining years of work. For example, while a disabled 20-year-old worker should consider vocational readjustment and reentry into the workforce, a 55-year-old worker only has a few years remaining in the workforce and would waste time and resources in a retraining program.
Are you an older worker who can no longer complete the requirements of your employer due to a medical condition, mental illness, physical limitation, or illness? You may wish to apply for Social Security disability benefits. Speak to a Texas disability benefits lawyer at Morgan Weisbrod today to learn more about how to get started.
by Paul B. Burkhalter Managing Partner of Morgan & Weisbrod, Board Certified in Social Security Disability Law.