What are the Special Rights of Social Security Disability Applicants Who are Age 50 or Older?

September 22, 2016

Sometimes it might seem as if it would be easier to hit the lottery than to get approved for Social Security Disability benefits. However, if you are over age 50, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has special rules that might apply in your case.

When you apply for Social Security Disability benefits, the SSA considers your age in combination with your residual functional capacity (RFC), your level of education and work experience. The Social Security Administration understands the fact that as a person advances in age, it can impose increasing limitations on their ability to adjust to doing work other than they kind of work they have been doing throughout their previous career. The SSA will take into consideration the impact that disability and limited work experience will have on the ability of those who are approaching advanced age (age 50 – 54) to find a new line of work in considering their application for SSD benefits. This might give older applicants a small window of opportunity where there chances of getting approved might be more favorable than they would have been had they applied a few years earlier. And, if the applicant is over the age of 55, the rules are even more in their favor and their chances for approval increase.

For example, if a younger applicant were to become disabled and unable to perform work they have done in the past, their RFC rating might suggest that they would be able to do some other types of work tasks and they would likely be denied SSD benefits. But when a SSD claimant is over 50 or 55 years of age, employers are less and less likely to hire them to do work for which they do not possess the proper skills and experience. Employers may not look favorably on older workers who may have out of date work skills and diminished health.

The “worn out worker” rule

Workers who have spent their working life performing unskilled, arduous labor in order to earn a living and then became disabled, you may qualify for the “worn-out” worker rule that might make qualifying for Social Security Disability benefits a bit easier.

If an applicant has the following:

  • A 6th grade education or less
  • Has worked at least 35 years in hard labor
  • Has mental or physical impairments that prevent the worker from being able to perform their work tasks

Their application might be considered under the “worn-out” worker rule.

Applicants for Social Security Disability benefits who are over age 50 may want to consider scheduling a consultation with an experienced Philadelphia SSD attorney from Larry Pitt & Associates who is knowledgeable about many effective strategies for improving their clients’ chances of getting approved for Social Security Disability benefits.

If you have been permanently disabled and you intend to apply for Social Security Disability benefits, Larry Pitt & Associates can help. Our Philadelphia Social Security Disability lawyers help the injured and ill throughout Pennsylvania. To schedule a free consultation, you are welcome to call 888.PITT.LAW or fill out our quick contact form. We are proud to help families across the state, including those in Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia Counties.