Special Rules for Getting Disability Benefits Over 50

Disability Benefits Over 50

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. According to the SSA, this procedure follows a step-by-step process that encompasses these five important questions:



  1. Are you working? If you’re currently working you must make less than $1,180 per month in order to be eligible to receive disability benefits.
  2. Is your condition “severe”? Your medical condition must be so severe that it interferes with basic work-related activities.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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, your age, education and past work experience will be considered in determining if you can adjust to another type of work. There are specific rules, commonly known as “grid rules” or “tables of medical-vocational guidelines,” that are used to determine your remaining capacity for work. The determination is not based on age alone, but the rules do take into consideration that older workers have a harder time transitioning to another type of job. Thus, making the rules generally more favorable if you’re applying for disability benefits over 50.

For example, a 50-year-old may get approved for disability benefits while a 49-year-old with the same impairment, education, and work experience may get denied based simply upon the implemented ‘special rules’ for applicants over 50.

Get Professional Help Applying for Disability Benefits Over 50

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 may be able to help you receive the compensation you deserve during the appeals process, too. Click on the button below now to connect with a disability advocate near you.

Get Your Free Benefits Evaluation