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Are Older Individuals More Likely To Get Social Security Disability Benefits?

When it comes to applying for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits, are older workers more likely to get approved than younger workers?

The answer, in general, is yes.

The Social Security Administration considers many factors when evaluating a SSD claim. Age is one of those factors. The severity of the impairment, work experience, education, and other factors are also considered.

So why are older workers more likely to get an SSD claim approved?

The idea behind this is that younger workers are in a better position to change careers if a disability prevents them from working at their current job. A 20-something office worker with carpal tunnel syndrome, for example, can learn new skills and transition into another line of work.

For an older worker, this may be more difficult. Many people spend most of their lives working in one industry. Learning new skills, going back to school, job hunting, for example, can be more difficult for older workers.

The Social Security Administration recognizes this. They apply age categories when reviewing claims:

  • Younger person: A worker under the age of 50
  • Person closely approaching advanced age: A worker between the ages of 50 and 54
  • Person of advanced age: A worker age 55 or older

A younger person will generally be less likely to receive SSD benefits than a person of advanced age, assuming that all other factors are the same.

Remember: While age is considered, it is not the be-all and end-all factor. People of all ages can successfully obtain SSD benefits, if not during the initial application process, then possibly through an appeal.

No matter what your age, no matter what your disability, it is important to talk to an experienced disability advocate if you are seeking benefits. Schedule a free consultation at Binder & Binder® by calling 1-800-66-BINDER. 

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