What changes after you turn 50?
There is at least one good thing about turning 50. Being 50 means that if you cannot work because of your health, your chance of obtaining Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) increases. That is because the rules that the Social Security Administration (SSA) uses to decide eligibility for benefits become easier at this age.
Understanding who is eligible for Social Security Disability can be a complex problem. At Hunter & Everage, we will guide you through the process of applying for disability benefits and make sure your age works in your favor. You can contact either our Charlotte, North Carolina, or Richmond, Virginia, office to schedule your free consultation with a knowledgeable attorney.
What are the eligibility benefits of aging?
The SSA has three age categories for disability benefits:
- Younger person: This group is all people who are under the age of 50. To obtain disability benefits, you must prove that your disability prevents you from getting a job that your education and background qualify you to hold. Because of this requirement, people in the “younger person” group will have a more challenging time obtaining disability benefits.
- Closely approaching advanced age: The SSA classifies people between the ages of 50 to 54 as “closely approaching advanced age.” This age, the SSA says, “significantly affects a person’s ability to adjust to other work.” As a person over 50, you will no longer have to prove that other kinds of work would be impossible because of your medical condition.
- Person of advanced age: People who are 55 or older are considered “persons of advanced age.” At this age, the SSA disability rules become more lenient when it comes to deciding whether you must adjust to a different kind of job.
The type of job that you held before applying for benefits can determine if your age is a factor. For example, if you worked a physically demanding construction job, the SSA could decide that your health problems would make it impossible for you to continue in that line of work. But if the SSA decides you could perform a more sedentary job, such as clerical work in an office, it will deny your claim.
Retirement and Social Security disability benefits
Aging people who have health problems may want to retire early and start drawing Social Security benefits. The problem with retiring early is that it can reduce your retirement benefits and overall potential compensation. In some instances, a person over the age of 50 may want to apply for disability benefits and then wait to retire until they are at full retirement age.
There are no clear-cut rules about when retiring early would be most beneficial, and every situation is different. Our attorneys will help you create a personalized plan for your retirement and Social Security Benefits that allows you to get the best possible outcome.
Get knowledgeable help with your application
No matter your age, if your health problems make it impossible to work or threaten your ability to support yourself, Hunter & Everage can help. We will make sure your application for Social Security Disability benefits includes important considerations about your age. If your application is denied, we will appeal the decision and fight for you.
Our disability attorneys will evaluate your case in a free consultation. Call our Charlotte office at 704-251-2945 or our Richmond office at 804-297-0838 to start the process. You can also send us an email to start your free case review.