The Social Security Administration (SSA) does not have a set age requirement or limit for applying for disability benefits. However, your age will impact your application process. For example, if you are too young, you might not have worked long enough to qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits.
While the SSA does not impose an age limit, there are some specific rules that applicants over the age of 65 should understand. If you are over 65, the SSA will require a comprehensive review of your medical records to determine if your impairment is age-related.
Our Fayetteville, AR disability attorneys know that there are hurdles to overcome when applying for Social Security Disability benefits, including age. Our office will work with you and your healthcare providers to build the best possible case for disability benefits. Call (479) 316-0438 to schedule a consultation.
Applying for Disability Benefits in Arkansas if You Are Over 65 Years of Age
For those individuals over 65 and wish to apply for Social Security benefits, there are two paths to approval. The first is to meet the required criteria of a listed condition or provide evidence that your condition equals a listed condition. The SSA publishes a medical guide, the “Blue Book,” that contains a listing of qualifying medical conditions. Our Arkansas disability lawyers must demonstrate that your condition meets the requirements of a listed impairment.
You could also seek an approval using a medical vocation allowance. The SSA will consider a number of factors, including your medical condition, limitations, restrictions, work history, related skills, and education, to determine if you are capable of still working. Your age will play a significant role in the SSA’s determination.
If you are 65 or older, you will still have to meet the same listing requirements as a younger applicant. However, the SSA will consider additional factors because of your age. For example, if you are older, the SSA will give your case a thorough review. Whether your claim is in the initial stages or you are in the appeals process, the case examiner or administrative law judge will have to review your medical records and documentation for any age-related impairments, such as hearing or vision problems. Under the SSA guidelines, age-related impairments must also be considered during the application process.
Social Security Disability Insurance Age Minimums in Arkansas
While there is no specified age minimum for SSDI, for all practical purposes, your age could impact your ability to have earned a sufficient number of work credits to qualify. For example, someone who is 18 and only just entered the workforce probably has not earned enough work credits to qualify for SSDI. In 2021, you can earn up to four credits per year. To earn a work credit, you must have at least $1,470 in income. The exact number of required credits depends on your age. If you are 24 or younger, you must have earned six credits within the previous three years. For those between the age of 24 and 31, you would need approximately twelve credits. Applicants over the age of 31 must have earned twenty work credits over the previous ten years.
Supplemental Security Income Age Requirements in Arkansas
SSI is generally for people over the age of 65 who have limited income and resources. However, if you are blind or disabled, there is no age requirement. SSI is specifically intended for people who have not earned enough work credits to qualify for SSDI. Even children are eligible for SSI benefits.
No matter your age, to qualify for SSI, you must document that you have a qualifying impairment. Additionally, you must prove that your income and financial resources do not disqualify you from receiving benefits. While many children physically qualify, their parents’ income makes them ineligible for SSI benefits. To further understand the income and resource requirements, speak with one of our experienced Rogers disability attorneys.
How Age Affects the Social Security Administration’s Decision in Arkansas
It is much more difficult for a younger person to have their disability benefits application approved. Whether applying for SSDI or SSI, you must demonstrate that your impairment prohibits you from working again. If your medical condition is listed in the SSA’s Blue Book, and you meet all the listed requirements, your age will not be factored into the SSA’s decision.
However, if your impairment is not listed, the SSA will consider your age in determining if your condition is equal to a listed condition. If you are younger, have a skill set and education, the SSA will naturally assume that you will have more opportunities of finding different and new employment. This is usually not the situation if you are an older individual.
To illustrate this point, imagine you are a 30-year-old construction worker with a college education applying for disability because you injured your back. When considering your benefits application, the SSA could assume that you could find less strenuous work. However, if you are 63 years old and have been working in construction for the last 45 years, the SSA will likely take the position that you are less likely to find new employment. No matter your age, our Arkansas disability lawyers are dedicated to fighting for your rights.
Our Arkansas Social Security Disability Lawyers Represent Applicants of All Ages
No matter how old you are, if you suffer from an impairment that limits your ability to work, you need Social Security Disability benefits. Whether you are a young adult, child, or nearing retirement, the application process for disability benefits is challenging. Our experienced Bentonville disability lawyers have represented people of all ages. If you want to apply for benefits but are worried about your age, call our law offices at (479) 316-0438 to talk with a knowledgeable attorney.