Social Security Disability Claims and Older Americans

Are You Over 50 and Disabled?

You’ve worked hard your entire life. Then, the unthinkable happens. Now you are unable to continue to work to support yourself and your family because of a disability. This is a scary proposition for most Americans. However, at McCroskey Law, our team of experienced, local Social Security Disability and SSI attorneys sees it all too often.

When a disabled worker is over the age of 50, there is a good chance that he may qualify for Social Security Disability or SSI benefits. Under Social Security regulations, it is generally easier for individuals over the age of 50 years to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. The Social Security Administrations considers not only your physical and mental limitations when determining if you qualify for benefits, but it also considers a claimant’s age, education, and past work experience.

If a claimant is unable to his or her past work, the Social Security Administration looks to its Medical-Vocational Guidelines (often called the Grids) when determining if a claimant is disabled from other work due to limitations caused by physical injuries and illnesses. Essentially, the Grids acknowledge that it becomes more difficult to transition to other types of work as a person ages. Therefore, the standard for disability becomes more compassionate at age 50, and even more so at age 55.

When evaluating an older individual’s Social Security Disability or SSI claim, the Social Security Administration must take into consideration the following elements:

  • Education and on-the-job training
  • English literacy
  • The type of work they performed in the past
  • Their physical and mental limitations
  • The presence of transferable work skills

Typically, the Grids are most beneficial for older workers who have done manual, unskilled labor. If a worker has a more skilled or sedentary work background, or an exceptional amount of education, the Grid analysis is more nuanced.

Age can be a major factor when the Social Security Administration determines whether or not a claimant qualifies for Social Security Disability or SSI benefits. It important to have an attorney on your side who understands the Grids and other Social Security laws and regulations.

If you are 50 years old or older and want to learn more about your rights to Social Security Disability benefits, please contact one of our experienced attorneys at McCroskey Law. We are local, we are lawyers, and we want to help you get the Social Security Disability benefits you deserve. Come visit us at one of our three offices in Muskegon, Grand Rapids, and Battle Creek. It is always free to talk to us, and we do not charge a fee unless we win your case. We look forward to speaking with you.

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