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Is age an important consideration when seeking SSD benefits?

A common concern for people in Florida who believe they are eligible for Social Security disability benefits is whether or not their age will be a determinative factor in being approved or denied. According to the code of regulations, when it comes to age as a vocational factor, it is part of the process. When there is a disability filing, the age will be considered when it is combined with the residual functional capacity, work experience and education. Also factored in to a disability claim is the ability to adjust to a different kind of work. This will not be done simply based on the chronological age.

There are age categories that the Social Security Administration will use when deciding if it is possible that another form or work can be done. If the case is borderline, the age categories will not be viewed as automatic. For example, a person whose age is closing in on being in a higher age category might be put in the category for those of a more advanced age. Age will be more prominently viewed in the context of the other issues.

For a person under the age of 50, age is not believed to be a serious hindrance to finding other kinds of work. There are situations, however, that a person who is between the ages of 45 and 49 might have more severe limitations in making the adjustment than people younger than 45. Those who are at the advanced ages of 50 to 54 will have their age, a severe impairment and a limited work experience considered as reasons they are more likely to be unable to adjust. Those above age 55 will be viewed as having a significantly more difficult time to adjust to different types of jobs. There are special rules for those 60 and above.

Age is often an afterthought for those who are seeking SSD benefits. It can be viewed lower on the scale when looking at the medical requirements and federal regulations for benefits. But it is an important part of the process for many claimants. Those who make a mistake when it comes to filing without understanding the importance of age might be denied benefits when they otherwise would not have been. Discussing the matter with a legal professional who understands how important age can be is imperative before moving forward with a case.

Source: ssa.gov, "404.1563. Your age as a vocational factor," accessed on June 29, 2015

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