Is age a factor in determining whether to award SSD benefits?

When a person applies for Social Security disability benefits, one thing the Social Security Administration (SSA) will take into consideration is whether the applicant can perform any other type of work. Since anyone — young or old – can become disabled, one may wonder whether the applicant’s age is a factor the SSA will consider when determining whether the applicant can perform any other type of work.

When assessing an applicant’s ability to adjust to a new line of work, the SSA will not consider age alone. However, it will consider age along with the applicant’s work experience and residual functional capacity. In general, the SSA will consider that as an applicant gets older, his or her age may limit his or her ability to perform a different type of work.

If the applicant is relatively young (under 50 years old), the SSA, in general, will not find that the applicant’s age will have a serious effect on the applicant’s ability to perform a different type of work. That being said, depending on the circumstances, the SSA may find that applicants between the ages of 45 and 49 may face more limitations in their ability to perform a different type of work than younger individuals.

If the applicant is nearing an advanced age (that is, between the ages of 50 and 54), then the SSA will consider that the applicant’s age may affect his or her ability to perform a different type of work if the applicant also has a severe impairment or limited work experience. For applicants age 55 and up, the SSA will deem that their age does significantly affect their ability to perform a different type of work.

As you can see, age can be a factor in determining whether an applicant for disability benefits can adjust to other work, but in general, it will not be the sole factor in making this decision. In the end, there are many factors the SSA will consider when determining whether to award a person SSD benefits. Those who want more information on applying for disability benefits can contact a Social Security disability attorney for assistance.