Am I Too Old or Too Young for SSDI Benefits?
Disabling injuries and illnesses can affect Americans of all ages. To be sure, it does not matter if you are very young or very old — you may find yourself dealing with the aftermath of a serious traumatic injury from an accident or battling a serious disease that prevents you from working. If you believe you have a disabling condition that means you cannot work, you are likely wondering about your eligibility for Social Security disability benefits. Generally speaking, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits and/or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, but it is important to know that the requirements for each are quite distinct from one another. Both SSDI and SSI benefits require the recipient to have a disability, but SSDI is based on work history while SSI is based on the recipient having a limited income and limited assets.
If you are planning to seek SSDI benefits, you may have questions about age requirements and may be wondering: am I too old or too young for SSDI payments? Our national disability benefits attorneys can provide you with additional information, and we are here to speak with you today about your circumstances.
General Age Requirements for SSDI Benefits
Generally speaking, you must be between 18 and 65 years old in order to be eligible for SSDI benefits. It is important to know that SSI works differently, and you can be eligible for SSI from infancy up to the age of 65.
Since SSDI is based in part on the recipient’s work record — including the number of work hours and length of time worked — it is important to understand how age can affect SSDI eligibility.
Aging Out of SSDI Benefits and Receiving Social Security
When you reach full retirement age, you age out of SSDI benefits (and SSI benefits, as well). In other words, your benefits will convert to Social Security benefits and you will simply begin receiving your retirement benefits that you would have received based on your age.
Being Too Young to Have Enough Credits for SSDI Benefits
Being young and disabled, and seeking SSDI benefits, does not necessarily mean that you are ineligible for benefits, but it may mean that you may need to ask the Social Security Administration (SSA) to clarify that you qualify for benefits with fewer credits than are typically required.
As the SSA explains, a person usually needs 40 credits (with 4 maximum earned per year), and 20 in the last 10 years. However, a younger worker would not be eligible with this system. As such, the SSA has different requirements for younger workers:
- Before the age of 24, you must have at least 6 credits you earned in the last three-year period; and
- Between the ages of 24 and 31, you must have 12 credits (or three years of work) from the last 6 years.
The SSA has a table that lists general calculations of the number of years a person must have worked, based on age, to qualify. In short, you do not necessarily need 40 credits with 20 earned in the last 10 years if you are younger.
Contact a National Disability Benefits Attorney Today for Assistance
It is often difficult to navigate the SSDI application system on your own given its various requirements and complexities. Although the process can be complicated, an attorney can help you. Whether you have questions about your eligibility for SSDI benefits, you simply want to know more about how the process will work, or you need assistance appealing a denial of benefits, one of the experienced national SSDI benefits attorneys at the Law Offices of Stephen Barszcz is here to help. Do not hesitate to reach out to us today for assistance with your case.