As many workers approach their late 50s and early 60s, they start to look forward to retirement and plan for it based on their current income. Working at full capacity can become more difficult as you age, especially if you work in manual labor. Also, workers in their 50s and 60s have a higher vulnerability to becoming ill or injured and acquiring a disability.
If you have been working to full capacity but you have recently acquired a disability, you may be concerned about the impact this will have on your ability to earn an income. It is important that you take the time to understand the law and how you can use benefit programs to your advantage.
How the Social Security Administration (SSA) could help
The SSA offers disability benefits for disabled people in a variety of situations. Your first option is to show that your condition qualifies as a recognized condition under SSA guidelines. If this is the case, you may be able to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits based on your need and your recorded work history.
If your medical condition does not qualify, your age may help you to qualify for disability benefits if you are between 60 and 65. An assessment will be made based on a combination of factors. First, the physical nature of your work will be categorized into one of five categories, ranging between sedentary and very heavy.
Based on the physical nature of your work, the SSA will look at the level of education you have in combination with the extent of your work experience. Based on these considerations, a determination of your disability status will be made.
If you work in a job that requires physical exertion, you have non-transferrable skills and a low level of education, you will likely be able to qualify as disabled. However, if your work is sedentary and you have a college education, you may find it more difficult to prove that you require disability benefits.
Every disability case is unique, so it is important that you take early action to understand the process. By acting as soon as you are affected by your disability, you will minimize the financial impact that your disability will have on your life.