Any person who is disabled and who has not reached his or her full retirement age can apply for Social Security disability benefits. The Social Security Administration (SSA) takes a number of factors into consideration when determining whether or not an applicant is disabled and eligible for benefits, and age is one of those factors.

What is Social Security’s Disability Age Limit?

Age impacts disability benefits in several ways. For example, your age determines the amount of work credits you need to qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. The younger you are, the fewer work credits you need to qualify.

Age also factors into the SSA’s determination of your disability. The Administration created what’s referred to as the medical-vocational grid to help examiners determine if an applicant is disabled. The grid takes multiple factors into consideration, including your residual functional capacity, skills, education and age.

There are four main age groups on the Social Security disability age grid:

  1. 18 to 44 (considered young by the SSA’s standards);
  2. 45 to 49 (considered “younger”);
  3. 50 to 54 (approaching advanced age); and
  4. 55 and older (advanced age).

Generally, the older you are, the easier it is to qualify for benefits. For instance, a person who is older than 54 who only can do sedentary work and doesn’t possess any transferable job skills is more likely to be awarded benefits than someone who is 45 with sedentary or higher-functioning capacity. The SSA likely will not expect the 54-year-old to go through retraining for a new sedentary job because the applicant is approaching advanced age; whereas, the SSA may deem that a 45-year-old still can learn new job skills and contribute to the workforce.

Children and Disability Benefits

Children are ineligible for SSDI because they do not have the work history necessary to qualify. However, a child of any age who is disabled can apply for Social Security Income (SSI) benefits.

The SSA will take the child’s income and assets, as well as the income and assets of the family members with whom the child lives, into consideration when determining SSI eligibility. Also, rather than assessing the child’s ability to work, the Administration will review the child’s functional limitations.

We Offer Knowledge and Guidance

The guidelines for disability benefits are multi-tiered and complex. We encourage you to consult a disability attorney to explain exactly for what you may qualify and to ensure your claim is thorough and filed correctly.

If you reside in Winston-Salem, Elkin or Statesville, you can call Patton Brown Law and schedule a free consultation with a knowledgeable disability attorney. Contact us today at 855-860-2150.