Will My Age Affect My SSDI Application?
If you were recently injured, or if you were recently diagnosed with a medical condition that has left you disabled, you should be learning more about the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program and your eligibility for benefits. You should know that SSDI benefits are administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA), and there are very specific requirements for benefits eligibility. In short, in order to be eligible for SSDI benefits, you will need to show that you have a disability according to the definition that the SSA uses (which may be different from your doctor’s definition, for example), and you will need to show that you have enough work credits (meaning that you have worked recently enough, and for a long enough period, to be eligible).
How, then, can age affect your SSDI application or your benefits? There are a couple of important things to consider. Our national disability benefits lawyers can tell you more, and we can speak with you today about your specific circumstances if you have any questions or require assistance with your application.
Younger Age and Your Work Credits
Age can be a factor in determining whether you have enough work credits to qualify for SSDI benefits. In this case, younger age would be the issue to consider. According to the SSA, “you can earn up to 4 credits each year,” and you earn a credit when you earn a certain amount of money (that amount increases each year). In 2023, you need to earn $6,560 to earn your maximum 4 credits for the year. Then, in order to qualify for SSDI benefits, you typically must have 40 credits, and you must have earned at least 20 in them in the last 10 years prior to the date of becoming disabled.
As you can see, this requirement might not work for younger workers who become disabled and have not been working for a long enough period of time. The SSA clarifies that “younger workers may qualify with fewer credits.” Indeed, the SSA has different work credit requirements for workers under age 24, for workers aged 24 to 31, and for workers aged 31 and older. As such, your younger age will not prevent you from qualifying for benefits, but the work credit requirements will be slightly different.
Older Age As a Vocational Factor
Older age might also mean that you are more likely to qualify for benefits. Indeed, the SSA considers age to be a vocational factor. The SSA defines a younger person as someone under age 50, which means that age will not serious impact the person’s “ability to adjust to other work,” However, that changes for the following two categories of age:
- Person approaching advanced age (age 50-54), which means age and a severe impairment, along with limited work experience, can “seriously affect your ability to adjust to other work”; and
- Person of advanced age (age 55 and up), which means age significantly affects that person’s “ability to adjust to other work.”
For people in these latter two categories, an approval of SSDI benefits may be more likely with age as a vocational factor, depending upon the other facts of their cases.
Contact a National Disability Benefits Lawyer Today for Help
If you have any questions or need help with your disability case, one of the experienced national SSDI attorneys at the Law Offices of Stephen Barszcz is here to assist you. Do not hesitate to get in touch with us to get started on your initial application or to appeal a denial of benefits. We have years of experience representing clients who are seeking disability benefits across the country.