At the Law Office of Carey Thomson, PC, we work with individuals 50 and over throughout Texas who are seeking disability benefits. Although the Social Security Administration (SSA) is more inclined to approve benefit claims of older workers than younger workers, claims by those over 50 are frequently denied because of factors other than age. The best way for older workers to protect their rights is to work with an experienced disability attorney.
Well-versed in the eligibility requirements and age categories for disability benefits, we are dedicated to helping clients obtain the benefits they deserve. When you become our client, we will help you navigate all aspects of the claims process from submitting the initial application through the disability appeal. Trust us to provide you with knowledge, compassion, and dependable service. Contact our office today so we can start working on your claim.
Am I Eligible for Disability Benefits if I Am 50 and Over?
To qualify for disability benefits, you must have an illness or injury that prevents you from performing any substantial gainful activity (SGA). Age is among the factors the SSA considers in determining whether you can work because it recognizes that it is more difficult to retrain older, disabled workers to perform new jobs. Therefore, the SSA divides applicants for disability benefits into the following 4 age categories:
- Approaching retirement age (60-65) — The SSA determines whether a claimant’s skills gained from prior work are transferable.
- Advanced age (age 55 or older) — Age may significantly affect a claimant’s ability to adjust to other work.
- Approaching advanced age (age 50-54) — Age, severe impairment, and limited work experience, combined, impact a claimant’s ability to adjust to other work.
- Younger Person (under age 50) — The ability to adjust to other work is not seriously affected, but claimants between 45-49 may be treated differently than those who have not reached the age of 45.
Based on these age categories, you are more likely to be approved for benefits if you are over 50 than a younger worker. As an example, an applicant 55 years of age who is limited to sedentary work due to a qualifying impairment may qualify for benefits more readily than a 35- year-old claimant with an identical condition and similar educational background.
At the same time, you must meet the eligibility requirements. To qualify under the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program, for example, you must have earned enough work credits, which are based on your work history and earnings. You must also meet the medical eligibility requirements. The disability attorneys at the Law Office of Carey Thompson will work with you to meet all these requirements and fight for the benefits you deserve.
Medical Conditions That Qualify for Disability Benefits in Texas
The SSA maintains a listing of qualifying impairments (the Blue Book), which includes the following conditions:
- Musculoskeletal problems
- Vision and hearing loss
- Respiratory illnesses
- Cardiovascular conditions
- Digestive tract problems
- Blood disorders
- Immune system disorders
- Neurological disorders
- Mental disorders
If you have a listed impairment, and the medical evidence to substantiate your claim, you automatically qualify for disability benefits. You may still be eligible for SSDI if your condition is not listed as long as it is medically equivalent to an impairment listed in the Blue Book.
In addition, the SSA has established Medical-Vocational Guidelines (the Grid) to assist disability examiners in making disability determinations. The grid considers age, education, and work experience in relation to a specific SSA rule. In short, examiners determine your residual functional capacity (RFC), which is an assessment of the limits on your ability to work and perform daily activities, including carrying, climbing, bending, and using your hands.
What factors other than age does the SSA consider?
Disability examiners will consider whether your condition is “medically determinable.” This means that your impairment (1) has been diagnosed through clinical testing and (2) is supported by medical evidence. In any event, your condition must be expected to last at least one year or result in death.
Moreover, your impairment must not only limit your ability to perform your previous work activities, but also make it unlikely that you can do other work. While the SSA will consider your education and the transferability of your skills, the agency typically finds that individuals 50 and older cannot learn a new job.
Ultimately, your claim must be backed by medical evidence, which is why our disability attorneys will work closely with your doctors to compile a convincing medical record. Although initial disability claims are frequently denied, we have the skills and experience to handle your disability appeal and win you the benefits you deserve.
Contact Our Experienced Texas Disability Attorneys
If you are 50 years of age or older and cannot work due to a medical condition, turn to the Law Office of Carey Thompson. We will offer you compassionate, efficient representation and handle your disability claim with care. Contact us today for a free consultation. You will not pay any attorneys’ fees to us until we obtain benefits for you.