Saturday, October 30, 2010

50 years old or older and Social Security Disability

Many of you have heard that it is difficult to get SSDI or SSI if you are young. This can be true for many cases, and it is also true that if you are 50 years or older you may have a better chance of winning your Social Security disability claim. However, the advantage of being 50 years or older really only comes in to play when the work you have performed in the past 15 years was light or heavier. It also for the most part only helps people in this category if your disabilities are mostly physical in nature. To understand when age is important and why you can visit my page on the grid rules. For those who have claims due to psychiatric conditions, age although it may be considered by some at Social Security, it does not play as much of a factor as it does for someone claiming mostly physical disabilities. Many people with psychiatric disabilities read the five step process for disability and don't really understand how their condition is evaluated at steps four and five since the grid rules only reference physical limitations. If you are trying to get disability based on psychiatric limitations it is important that you know that even if you don't meet or equal a listed impairments at step three of the process you can still be found disabled if you can show the limitations from your psychiatric condition would prevent first your past work then a significant number of any other work. I am writing this post because I received many e-mails from people who read the five step process and understandably don't understand how it applies to someone with a psychiatric condition. Steps four and five can also be confusing if you suffer from both physical and mental conditions, but again if you can show your limitations from these conditions prevent you from being able to perform your prior work or a significant number of any other work you can be found disabled at these steps. I hope this post clears up some questions many of you might have about how age is a much more significant factor for those with physical disabilities then it is for those with mental disabilities. To be very general, if you are under 50 years old, or over 50 years old but had work in the past 15 years that was sedentary, then if you do not meet or equal a listed impairment at step three you will then have to show that your limitations from your conditions would prevent you from even being able to do unskilled sedentary work. If you are 50 years old or older then chances are if your prior work was light or heavier than you would only have to show you are limited to sedentary work to be found disabled. If you have psychiatric medical conditions such as depression and you do not meet or equal the medical listings at step three you will then have to show that the limitations from your psychiatric conditions would prevent almost any type of work in significant numbers. If you suffer from physical and psychiatric impairments and you do not meet or equal listed impairment Social Security will look at all your limitations combined to determine if there is a significant number of jobs you could perform. I try to be very general and not get too technical so that you would have some idea of how an SSDI or SSI claim is decided and how age plays a factor for some in the decision. You should also follow the links in this article which will go into more detail on specific aspects of this article.