Is Age a Factor in Social Security Disability Grid Claims?

The Social Security Administration considers several factors to establish an individual’s entitlement to Social Security disability grid or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability, and age is just one of them.

How the Disability Grid Affects Your Disability Benefits

What exactly does the disability grid do with age impacting your capacity to receive Social Security disability? The disability grid looks at factors aside from medical advice into consideration when determining disability. These factors include age, abilities, and education, as well as a residual functional capacity.

Social Security has established age groups to assist with the disability decision procedure. Those who are 18 to 44 are deemed young individuals, those aged 45-49 are “younger” people, those aged 50-54 are traditionally thought of as approaching advanced age, individuals who are 55 and above are considered of complex age, and those aged 60-65 are considered approaching retirement age.

Social Security employs these age groups, together with an individual’s residual functional capacity (in other words, the capability to perform sedentary, moderate, moderate, and heavyweight function), the ability level of a person’s past work, and the person’s education, to determine one’s someone’s level of disability. For example, if you are 45-49, have little formal education, limited to sedentary work, then you’d most likely be denied handicap, even if you have not performed sedentary work before. However, if you’re over 50, have little formal education, and you are restricted to sedentary work, you will probably be granted disability benefits.

Social Security Disability Age Classes

Choices in Social Security Disability cases are highly driven by your age, especially once you reach age 50 or 55. Many choices hinge completely on your age, and you’re awarded benefits if you applied on the proper corresponding to the age category.

At times, age categories are employed in a loose manner. For instance, you may be thought to be 55 years old, even though it’s six months before you have your 55th birthday. The custom of flexing the age groups in a manner that favors claimants is prevalent.

How Being Mature Helps

The medical-vocational grid rules are usually favorable if an individual is approaching advanced age (ages 50-54). Those aged 50-54, limited to sedentary work, and do not have work skills applicable to other forms work, are inclined to be approved for disability benefits. Social Security doesn’t expect these employees to undergo retraining for sedentary occupation if they’re approaching advanced age.

The Social Security medical-vocational principles are most beneficial to individuals who are 55 and older. If a person is 55 or older, is restricted even to mild work or less compared to the usual complete assortment of medium work, then they might be qualified for disability benefits even if they have high school education and their previous work has been unskilled or their skills aren’t transferable. Social Security anticipates an employee to take on hardly any vocational training at this age.

These are only examples. Even if you don’t match the medical-vocational classifications to get an endorsement in your age, there’s still a possibility that your disability claim is winnable. If you’re 49, 54, or 59, and you qualify for disability under the age grid for 50-54, 55-59, or even 60 and older, Social Security may treat you as if you’d reached another age group.

Alternatives for Approval if You Are Denied

If you worked for 35 years in heavy physical labor, can’t-do that sort of work anymore, and if you have marginal schooling (6th grade or less), you can win your claim under the “exhausted employee” rule.

If you are at least 59 years old, look at the grid rules for people over 60. If you’d be eligible for disability under these principles and are seriously disabled, the SSA may be persuaded to apply the advanced age grid.

Continuing Disability Review: Just How Long Does It Take?

All Social Security Disability benefits recipients are subjected to a Continuing Disability Review. These testimonials are a standard part of the Social Security Disability benefits process and are no cause to be alarmed of. Most instances get a Continuing Disability Review every 3 decades, though some could be reviewed less or more frequently.

The objective of a Continuing Disability Review is to ascertain whether the medical or psychological conditions that qualify a person for Social Security Disability benefits have improved. When it’s determined that your medical or mental condition hasn’t improved, you will continue receiving Social Security Disability benefits. If your condition improved, your situation may be recommended for review.

The Continuing Disability Review may also consider any further medical or psychological ailments and remedies that have appeared since your last inspection. It’s very important to keep careful records of all doctor’s visits, therapies, drugs, new signs, and changes in present conditions as you’re collecting Social Security Disability payments, whether through SSDI, SSI or both.

Disability Grid Factors

The disability grid uses these factors to determine whether a candidate is handicapped:

  • Applicant’s age
  • Applicant’s education degree
  • The applicant’s previous work
  • If the applicant has any abilities which can be used at another job, and
  • The candidate’s residual functional capacity (RFC).

Let us take a look at each one of these variables and determine how they can affect your claim.


For the purposes of this grids, the SSA divides candidates to the following age classes:

  • Younger people (18 through 49).
  • Closely approaching advanced age (50 to 54)
  • Advanced age (55 and over), and
  • Closely approaching retirement age (60 and over).

The older the applicant is, the simpler it is to get approved utilizing the grids.

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