Social security disability benefits can be a lifeline for individuals with medical conditions that prevent them from remaining in the workforce. However, the application process is challenging and often unsuccessful.
Fortunately, if you are over age 50, you may have an easier time qualifying for disability benefits for the following reasons.
You can apply through grid rules
The Social Security Administration uses two methods to qualify individuals for benefits. The first method involves matching an applicant’s symptoms and medical test results to those for qualifying conditions appearing in the Blue Book.
The other method requires applicants to answer basic questions to determine their residual functional capacity. This option assesses their ability to stand, walk, lift, carry or push to calculate their disability benefits.
Your education level simplifies your application
Individuals with a high education level may have transferable skills to perform new jobs successfully after developing a disability. However, those over 50 years old with less education may have fewer options for acquiring new skills to continue working after experiencing a disability. Therefore, they may more easily qualify for social security disability benefits.
Employment becomes more competitive
Workers seeking employment over the age of 50 have the disadvantage of competing with younger job candidates even if they can adapt to employment changes to accommodate their medical conditions. Therefore, individuals over 50 may more easily qualify for disability benefits if they have the appropriate number of work credits.
Obtaining social security disability benefits for the period before your retirement benefits begin may help you secure your long-term financial health when you struggle to continue working.