How to Qualify for the Special Rules Involving Disability Benefits Over 50
The SSA has a standard procedure it uses in order to determine eligibility for Social Security disability benefits. That said, the agency also has special rules for getting disability benefits over 50 that make the process much easier. We’ll explain the claim review and approval process and how the medical-vocational rules change for disability applicants aged 50+ below.
The 5 Steps to Disability Benefit Approval for Most Applicants
According to the SSA, this procedure follows a step-by-step process that encompasses these five important questions:
- Are you working? If you’re currently working you must make less than $1,310 per month in order to be eligible to receive disability benefits.
- Is your condition “severe”? Your medical condition must be so severe that it interferes with basic work-related activities.
- Is your condition found in the list of disabling conditions? The SSA maintains a list of medical conditions that are classified as so severe they may automatically qualify you for disability benefits. If the condition you suffer from isn’t listed, it’s up to the SSA to decide if the severity of your medical issue is equivalent to a condition that’s on the list. If the SSA determines your condition is equivalent you may qualify for disability benefits, but if it isn’t the SSA will move on to step 4 in determining your eligibility.
- Can you do the work you previously did? In order to qualify for disability benefits, your condition must prevent you from performing the work you previously did. If the SSA decides you have the ability to perform your previous job up to par, then your disability claim will most likely be denied.
- Can you do any other type of work? If the SSA comes to the determination that you can adjust to other types of work, then your disability claim will be denied. This is why it’s extremely important to provide medical evidence to the SSA in regards to how your medical condition limits your work ability.
Why Does Age Matter for Getting Disability Benefits Over 50?
When applying for disability benefits, the agency reviews your age, education and past work experience. These are all key factors in determining if you can adjust to another type of work. These specific rules, commonly known as “grid rules” or “tables of medical-vocational guidelines,” help determine your remaining work capacity. Of course, this determination isn’t based on your age alone. That said, the rules do take into consideration that older workers have a harder time transitioning to other career paths. As a result, the SSA generally makes those rules more favorable if you’re applying for disability benefits over 50.
For example, the SSA may approve a 50-year-old for disability benefits. Meanwhile, the agency denies a 49-year-old with the same impairment, education, and work experience due to “special rules” for 50+ claimants.
You May Qualify for Legal Assistance
Still curious about how to qualify for Social Security disability benefits over 50? You may want help from a disability advocate filling out your claim paperwork. A disability advocate or attorney has experience with “special rules” that apply to applicants for disability benefits over 50. An experienced Social Security lawyer filing your claim doubles your benefit approval odds on your very first application.
Ready to see if you may qualify? Click the button below to start your free online benefits evaluation now!