Social Security Benefits After 50

Did you know that Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits are easier to win if you’re over age 50? That’s right, the Social Security Administration (SSA) lowers its disability standard for applicants over the age of 50. If you need to file for Social Security disability and your age could be a factor, there are some things you should know.


Even though the SSA’s rules actually change for people who have disabilities after 50, older individuals also benefit from the presumption of credibility created by a long work history. When the person evaluating your claim sees a long solid work history, they are more likely to accept your claim of being unable to work, whereas they might be more skeptical of a 25-year-old.

Although a long work history may influence the person deciding your disability claim, a section of the Social Security Code provides special rules that apply to those applying for disability benefits for over 50. The disability attorneys at Levine Benjamin can help you navigate through all the rules to help win your case.

People of all ages are required to provide medical proof to support their claim of disability, but age definitely has the advantage when it comes Social Security Disability benefits. Claimants under 50 must prove an inability to perform ALL work, not just the high-exertion job they had before the onset of their disability. All work includes hypothetical jobs, even jobs that are not necessarily available. The SSA does not care about whether there is a company hiring for that position in your area or even if you take a substantial pay cut. The SSA’s main concern is whether you could safely and competently do that type of job with your disability.

For example, if a person who is 45 hurts their back, they probably won’t be able to return to their job as a mover, but in order to win disability benefits, they will need to provide medical proof that they also can’t work in a more sedentary job, such as a receptionist or toll booth operator. If that same person is 50 or over, they only have to prove that they can’t do their previous job as a mover to win SSD benefits, unless they have previously learned skills that can translate into a more sedentary job.


The reasoning for this is simple: People over 50 are considered by the SSA to be “closely approaching advanced age.” The Social Security Administration knows that it’s harder for people over 50 to get unskilled sedentary jobs. A claimant’s burden of proving disability becomes lower and lower as they near age 65. This means that Social Security benefits for people over 50 can be easier to win.

If you’re disabled and can’t work, you may be entitled to disability benefits. If you’re over 50, it may be easier to get those benefits. Before you apply for SSD benefits, you should know that around 60 percent of disability claims are denied initially, and you are more likely to win your case if you have representation. Although an attorney is not required in a claim for SSD benefits, it can be helpful. Non-attorney representatives don’t always know how to proceed after a denial and may not be familiar with all the special rules and nuances of the Social Security system. Hiring an experienced Social Security Disability attorney can make a difference in winning your case.

The attorneys at Levine Benjamin are here to help. Our Social Security Disability attorneys have decades of experience helping people of all ages fight for Social Security benefits. Check out our FAQ page for answers to general questions regarding SSD benefits. When you’re ready to apply or if you have already been denied, please contact our office.


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