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What Is The Age Limit For Social Security Disability

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Different Social Security Disability Rules Apply When You Reach Ages 50 55 And 60 Learn How To Use Them To Win Your Claim And Get Approved For Ssdi Or Ssi Benefits

What does age have to do with Social Security Disability Benefits?

Your age is a big factor in determining if you win your disability claim and get approved for monthly payments, especially if you are unable to work because of an injury on the job or degenerative condition, such as arthritis.

To understand why your age is so important, lets first look at the evaluation process used by the Social Security Administration when deciding claims.

Here is how it works:

If you have a medical condition that affects your ability to work, but that is not severe enough to meet or equal a condition on the Listing of Impairments, then the SSA will decide what you are capable of doing. This determination, which details both your physical and mental capabilities, is called your residual functional capacity, or RFC.

The SSA will then compare your RFC to the physical and mental requirements of all work that you did in the 15 years before you applied for Social Security Disability benefits.

If the SSA finds you can return to that prior work based on your RFC, then your case will be denied. But if it finds you cannot, then it will consider the vocational factors your age, level of education, and work experience to determine if you can do any other work. If you cannot, then the SSA will approve your disability claim.

What Is The Social Security Retirement Age

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What Is The Social Security Retirement Age?

As each year passes, the age at which you can collect benefits increases, courtesy of the Social Security Administration . Why the increase? SSA began the practice several years ago to help the beleaguered benefit system by delaying payouts. In 2018, the full retirement age will increase by two months you must be age 66 and four months to be considered as full retirement age. The 2018 change affects individuals born after 1956.

Retiring baby boomers are creating a financial challenge for the SSA. It is the largest generation in American history. In 2007, the oldest boomers turned 62, and they just keep coming!

Added to that is the fact that most Americans are electing to claim their retirement benefits early rather than waiting until, but so is the fact that most Americans are electing to claim SSA retirement benefits before reaching the full retirement age. Three-quarters of early claimants are women, and over half are men. Very few are waiting until their exact full retirement age.

Early Retirement Vs Disability

Because the disability process can be long and complicated, and because for some, receiving disability benefits carries a stigma, some individuals choose to take early retirement. However, collecting Social Security retirement early rather than applying for disability has drawbacks that should be considered before making this decision.

If you take early retirement once you reach the age of 62, your retirement benefit amount will be permanently reduced. The amount your benefit is reduced depends on the number of months you have until full retirement age . This is called the “reduction factor.”

On the other hand, if you are awarded Social Security disability benefits , your benefit amount will be equal to what you were entitled to receive once you reached your full retirement age. This is because SSDI and retirement benefits are based on how much money you paid to the SSA. Once you reach full retirement age, your benefits simply convert to retirement benefits, but your payment amount will not change. Your future retirement benefits are not reduced even though you were able to collect Social Security early.

Also, you will get the benefit of a “disability freeze.” For the purpose of calculating your monthly Social Security benefit, the disability freeze disregards any low earning or zero earning years for the period that your disability prevented you from working.

Also Check: How To Find Out My Current Social Security Benefits

How Long Will Social Security Disability Benefits Last

Submitted by Kyle on Wed, 11/24/2010 – 11:01Kyle’s BlogLog in

Many people are under the mistaken assumption that Social Security Disability benefits last forever. This isn’t necessarily the case. While many people will receive Social Security Disability benefits until they reach the retirement age of 65, not everyone will. For those who do receive Social Security Disability benefits until age 65, Social Security benefits will not just stop altogether. They will simply change from Social Security Disability benefits to Social Security Retirement benefits. There are, however, some instances in which a Social Security Disability beneficiary will have their disability benefits stopped prior to reaching the age of 65.

Why Social Security Disability Benefits End

There are a number of reasons why Social Security Disability benefits would be revoked after being instated. The most common reasons for a stop in Social Security Disability benefits are improvement of one’s disabling condition, incarceration, or a return to work. How long you receive Social Security Disability benefits will be determined by whether or not these factors come into play and, if so, when. For example, someone could begin receiving Social Security Disability benefits in 2010 and those benefits could go under review in 2013. If the Social Security Administration decides that the person is no longer disabled, the benefits could stop.

How to Keep Your Social Security Disability Benefits in Effect

These Changes In Social Security Taxes And Benefits Take Effect Jan 1

Social Security Income Limits 2017

    Every October, the Social Security Administration announces its annual changes to the Social Security program for the coming year. Below is our analysis of the Social Security changes that were announced in October 2020 to take effect on Jan. 1, 2021, according to the SSAs annual fact sheet. Keep them in mind when you update your Social Security information.

    Also Check: How Do You Find Out What Your Social Security Benefits Are

    Social Security Disability For Claimants Age 55 And Older

    Many people applying for Social Security disability are age 55 or older, and have worked hard for their entire adult life. But now, due to a medical condition, they cannot do their job any longer. Many of these workers are denied benefits when they apply for disability, despite a lifetime of paying into the Social Security system.

    The Social Security Administration has special rules for claimants age 55 and over. If you can no longer do the sort of work you have done in the past, then Social Security must take your age into account when considering whether or not you can do other work. These rules are embodied in the Medical-Vocational Guidelines, which are used by the SSA to determine disability at step 5 of the sequential evaluation.

    If you are 55 or older and are limited to unskilled light exertional work, Social Security will presume that you are unable to transition to other work due to your age. An experienced attorney can use these presumptions to help win your disability case.

    It is very important to remember that you do not get the benefit of these rules until step 5 of the disability evaluation process. So it is critical to rule out your past relevant work at step 4.

    I prefer to be involved as early as possible with a disability claim of a worker over age 55. Ideally, I am consulted before the claim is filed. In many cases, my help with the initial application pays off with a fully favorable decision, without the necessity of a hearing.

    Social Security Disability Insurance

    The minimum age requirement for a person to receive Social Security Disability Insurance based on his or her own earnings record is 18. Benefits for this program are based on your earnings record and having the necessary number of work credits.

    Additionally, you must be able to show through medical evidence that you have a medical impairment that is expected to last at least one year or result in death that prevents you from being able to work. If you receive SSDI, you are eligible to receive these benefits until you reach full retirement age.

    Read Also: Ssn Spousal Benefit

    How Is Ssi Amount Determined

    The SSI Payment Formula

    The Social Security Administration, known as SSA, figures your federal SSI benefit by deducting your countable unearned income and your countable earned income from the maximum Federal Benefit Amount of $783 for individuals and $1,175 for a couple. The remainder is your Federal Amount Payable.

    Read Also: Is Disability Insurance Tax Deductible For Corporations

    Credit Earning Threshold Goes Up

    How to Win Social Security Disability if You are Under Age 40

    If you were born in 1929 or later, then you must earn at least 40 credits over your working life to qualify for Social Security benefits. The amount it takes to earn a single credit goes up slightly each year. For 2021, it will take $1,470 in earnings per credit, up $60 from 2020. The number of credits needed for disability depends on your age when you become disabled.

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    Earnings Limits For Recipients Were Increased

    If you work while collecting Social Security benefits, then all or part of your benefits may be temporarily withheld, depending on how much you earn. However, those income limits have increased slightly for 2021.

    Prior to reaching full retirement age, you will be able to earn up to $18,960 in 2021. After that, $1 will be deducted from your payment for every $2 that exceeds the limit. The 2021 annual limit represents a $720 increase over the 2020 limit of $18,240.

    If you reach full retirement age in 2021, then you will be able to earn $50,520, up $1,920 from the 2020 annual limit of $48,600. For every $3 you earn over the 2021 limit, your Social Security benefits will be reduced by $1, but that will only apply to money earned in the months prior to hitting full retirement age. Once you reach full retirement age, no benefits will be withheld if you continue working.

    Average Social Security Check By Type

    While most people think of Social Security as a program just for retirees, it serves many other groups, including the disabled, spouses and minor children of retirees as well as the spouses and minor children of deceased workers. The amount that each group receives differs substantially.

    In fact, the average retired worker receives $1,553.68 each month 9 percent more than Social Security recipients as a whole. Heres how the figures break down by recipient, as of May 2021.

    Type of beneficiary
    $1,280.17

    The table shows the three major recipient categories in bold: retirement benefits, survivor benefits and disability benefits. The totals from these categories add up to 100 percent. The sub-category below each shows the top recipient of Social Security aid for that category.

    As you can see, retirement benefits make up the vast bulk of Social Security 76.2 percent with most of that going to retired workers. The remainder in this category goes to spouses and minor children of retired workers, who receive a check of less than $800 a month on average.

    Survivor benefits comprise 9.1 percent of Social Security benefits. The top sub-category is non-disabled widows or widowers, who receive an average of $1,460.55 each month.

    Disability insurance comprises about 14.7 percent of all Social Security payments, and the top recipient is disabled workers, who receive an average $1,280.17.

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    Who May Be Eligible

    SSDI: A worker who becomes disabled. Also, certain family members may be eligible. These family members, with some limitations not fully described below, may include:

    • The workers spouse, if the spouse is caring for their child who is younger than age 16 or who is disabled
    • The workers spouse, if the spouse is age 62 or older
    • The workers child if the child is younger than age 18. If the child is still in grade school or high school full time, the child can receive benefits up to age 19
    • The workers child who is age 18 or older, if this child is disabled and became disabled before age 22
    • The workers divorced spouse, if:
    • The divorced spouse is age 62 or older,
    • Was married to the worker for at least 10 years, and
    • Is not currently married.
  • The workers stepchild or grandchild, in limited circumstances.
  • SSI: U.S. citizens and certain legal who are financially needy. Also, who are at least 65 years old, blind or disabled.

    How Age Affects A Disability Application

    How Medicare and Social Security Work Together

    The Social Security Administration recognizes that there are more factors than a persons physical condition that affect their ability to work. Education and skills play a crucial role, as does age. Older workers do not have the time to go back to school to train for a new position and typically find it more difficult to master new skills. They also face age-related discrimination in the workforce.

    For the purpose of evaluating SSDI applications, adults age 50 to 54 are considered to be approaching advanced age. Applicants age 55 and older are considered advanced age, while those who are 60 to 65 are considered approaching retirement age.

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    What Is Social Securitys 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 benefits. The younger you are, the fewer work credits you need to qualify.

    Age also factors into the SSAs determination of your disability. The Administration created whats 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:

  • 18 to 44
  • 45 to 49
  • 50 to 54 and
  • 55 and older .
  • 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 doesnt 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.

    Does Disability Affect Retirement Benefits

    your disability benefits automatically convert to retirement benefits , but the amount remains the same. If you also receive a reduced widows benefit , be sure to contact Social Security when you reach full retirement age so that we can make any necessary adjustment in your benefits .

    Read Also: What Will My Social Security Be At Age 67

    How The Grid Affects Your Disability Benefits

    What does the grid have to do with age affecting your ability to receive Social Security disability? The grid takes factors other than medical information into consideration when making a disability decision. These other factors include age, skills, and education, in addition to your residual functional capacity.

    Social Security has set up age categories to help with the disability decision process. Individuals who are 18 to 44 are considered young individuals, those 45-49 are “younger” individuals, those 50-54 are considered to be closely approaching advanced age, individuals who are 55 and over are considered advanced age, and individuals 60-65 are considered closely approaching retirement age.

    Social Security uses these age groups, along with an individual’s residual functional capacity , the skill level of an individual’s past work, and the individual’s education to establish an individual’s disability. For example, if you are 45-49, you have little formal education, and you are limited to sedentary work, you would most likely be denied disability if you are literate, even if you haven’t performed skilled work before. But if you are over 50, you have little formal education, and you are limited to sedentary work, you will likely be granted disability benefits.

    Learn more about the medical-vocational grid.

    Social Security Income Eligibility

    What are the minimum requirements for Social Security Disability Benefits

    To receive SSI, you must have low income and be age 65 or older, blind, or disabled.

    Disabled means you have a physical or mental condition that keeps you from working and is expected to last at least a year or to result in death. Children as well as adults can get benefits because of disability. When deciding if a child is disabled, Social Security looks at how their disability affects everyday life.

    For more information about benefits for children, contact any Social Security office to ask for the booklet, Benefits For Children With Disabilities .

    Blind means you are either totally blind or have very poor eyesight. Children as well as adults may receive benefits because of blindness.

    Sometimes, a person whose sight is not poor enough to qualify for benefits as a blind person may be able to receive benefits as a disabled person if his or her condition prevents him or her from working.

    To be eligible for SSI based on a medical condition you must:

  • Have little or no income or resources.

  • Be a U.S. citizen or meet the requirements for non-citizens.

  • Be considered medically disabled. Find more information about medical disability online.

  • Be a resident of the 50 states, District of Columbia, or Northern Mariana Islands.

  • File an application.

  • File for any and all other benefits for which you are eligible.

  • Accept vocational rehabilitation services, if referred

  • If you are blind, only the first seven requirements would apply to you.

    Eligibility for Caretaker Supplement benefits

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    Applying For Ssi Benefits Forchildren

    When you apply for SSI payments for your child, you must complete an Application for Supplemental Security Income and a Child Disability Report. Youll be asked for detailed information on their medical condition or conditions and how it affects their quality of life.

    Some medical conditions qualify for immediateSSI payments, including:

    • Total blindness
    • Down syndrome
    • Muscular dystrophy

    The Social Security Administration sendsyour application to the Disability Determination Services office in your state.Once the state agency reviews the information, they typically take three tofive months to decide if your child is eligible for SSI payments. Because SSIis funded by general tax revenues, the amount of SSI payments can vary fromstate to state.

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