Helping People With Disabilities Nationwide

Age Categories

by | Apr 28, 2023 | SSD - Social Security Disability |

In the final step of the disability evaluation process, Social Security Administration must consider your age along with your education, past work experience, and residual functional capacity to see if you can make an adjustment to other work in the national economy.  However, when applying the Administration’s medical-vocational guidelines, individuals are more likely to get approved if they have no transferable skills and are in the older age categories.

Social Security Administration provides age categories for individuals closely approaching retirement age (age 60-65), individuals of advanced age (age 55-59), individuals closely approaching advanced age (age 50-54), and younger individuals (under 50). In some circumstances they will also consider a younger individual aged 45-49 as more limited in their ability to adjust to other work than persons under age 45 (See Rule 201.17 in appendix 2).

Your age category during the relevant period will determine which vocational rule to apply, though at times a claimant may have a change in age categories, given the lengthy process for adjudication. To increase your chances of a fully favorable decision, you may want to consider amending the alleged onset date to put your claim in a more advantageous age category, though you would not be eligible for benefits any time before the amended alleged onset date. Also, for Title II benefits, Social Security Administration imposes a 5-month wait period from the onset date before payments can begin. Further, bear in mind that Social Security Administration will deem that you reach a particular age on the day before your birthday.[1] For example, if your 50th birthday is on September 1, 1971, they wild deem you became age 50 on August 31, 1971.

An attorney or law firm specializing in Social Security disability claims can help you determine how your age category will affect your claim.

[1] 20 CFR §404.102



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