None of us over 50 likes to think of ourselves as being advanced in age. Being referred to as “over the hill” is not generally something we find amusing, even if we may make occasional remarks about our various aches and pains being age-related.
The Social Security Administration (SSDI), however, gives us good reason to be thankful for being over the half-century mark.
What’s Age Got to Do with It?
When applying for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits (SSDI), the SSA has a number of criteria they must follow in order to make a determination about qualifying for benefits. Federal law controls who can and cannot receive payments and the workers in charge of assessing your eligibility must follow those laws.
One of the criteria in evaluating disability status is age. If someone is younger than 45, generally speaking, it is expected that they will be able to retrain in another vocation and therefore their application may be denied.
Between the ages of 45-49, an applicant may be, due to education and other issues, not as able to retrain for other work and there may be some flexibility in how the SSA worker ascertains their ability to find other employment.
“Advanced Age” Defined by SSDI
After the age of 50, however, the SSA considers a person “advanced age.” People who are of advanced age are considered much less likely to be able to retrain or adapt to a new vocation.
Past employment and whether the applicant can return to it, education level (does the person have a college degree or only a high school diploma?), along with medical conditions are all considered in the application. For someone who has previously applied before they turned 50, it may be time to reevaluate whether reapplying would now be beneficial.