Sometimes age matters. We have to be 16 to get a driver’s license, 18 to sign a contract, 21 to drink alcohol, and so on. When applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), your age could be a factor along with your medical condition. Can you qualify for SSDI at age 62? Let’s look at how SSDI eligibility and benefits work to find the answer to this question.
How You Qualify for SSDI
The most obvious reason to apply for SSDI is that you have a disability that prevents you from working. To the Social Security Administration (Social Security), the term ‘disability’ means:
- “You cannot do work that you did before because of your medical condition.
- You cannot adjust to other work because of your medical condition.
- Your disability has lasted or is expected to last for at least one year or to result in death.”
However, there are other requirements as well to qualify for SSDI. For example, your eligibility hinges on how many work credits you have earned. Your age can make a difference.
Work Credits and Age
Younger workers, of course, do not have the same requirements because they haven’t been in the workforce long enough. Social Security uses a sliding scale to determine how many work credits you need to qualify for SSDI. For example, you need 20 credits at age 31. At age 62, you need 40 work credits.
The number of years you work immediately before your disability began is also important. At age 31, again, you need to have five years of work before becoming disabled. Workers age 62 or older must have the full 10 years of work.
Work Potential Changes Based on Age
Social Security also considers age during the application process. Most people consider it easier for people of more advanced age to qualify for SSDI. This belief is based on Social Security’s grid rules regarding vocational ability.
The following terms relate to an applicant’s age and their ability to work:
Approaching advanced age – Age 50-54
Advanced age – Age 55 and over
Approaching retirement age – Age 60 or older
Social Security typically considers an applicant’s ability to work based on their age. Someone age 62 or older may find it easier to qualify for SSDI because of the decreased expectations.
Call to Learn More About How to Qualify for SSDI.
No matter how old you are, it’s important to get legal representation if you decide to apply for SSDI benefits. The process is long and hard. Many first-time applications are denied, sometimes because of missing or incorrect paperwork or a misunderstanding of available benefits.
The application process can be long and frustrating, so you need someone on your side. The attorneys at The Law Offices of Martin Taller have more than 50 years’ experience. For a free consultation, call us at 714-385-8100. Though our office is located in Anaheim, we assist clients throughout Southern California.