If you have been paying into Social Security through your employer and a debilitating medical issue or injury now prevents you from returning to work, you may qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits.
However, the Social Security Administration uses strict eligibility requirements when approving claims. In 2018, 65% of initial applicants failed to qualify for benefits. If you are under age 50, you may be facing even steeper odds.
The reason? While your disability may prevent you from doing the same type of job you performed previously, the SSA may decide you are still young and able enough to adjust to another type of employment.
When might age affect disability determinations?
When reviewing your application, the SSA may consider your age in combination with other factors, including your educational background and work experience as well as the nature/severity of your disability. If you have a significant disability, are approaching advanced age and do not have work skills that might transfer to another job, the SSA may be more likely to approve your claim.
How does the SSA use age in evaluating eligibility?
The SSA recognizes that advancing age may make it increasingly difficult for you to adjust to other work. While there are no strict rules, generally the SSA may consider your age to be a significant barrier to adjusting to other work if you are over the age of 50.
Is it possible to receive SSDI under age 50?
While it may be more difficult to file a successful SSDI claim if you are under 50, it is still possible if your condition is severe. However, if you are a younger worker, you must be able to demonstrate strong medical evidence that you cannot maintain substantial gainful employment of any kind.