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Is There an Age Requirement for Filing Disability?

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The Social Security Administration (SSA) administers two very different programs that disabled individuals could apply to for monthly financial assistance: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Both of these programs operate in significantly different ways yet share some important similarities.

SSDI does not provide benefits for minor children with disabilities. While there is no technical age requirement for SSDI, the program is funded through payroll FICA taxes. More specifically, to qualify, an applicant must have earned enough work credits. It is unlikely that someone eighteen or nineteen has worked long enough to have amassed the necessary number of credits.

SSI is designed for individuals who require financial assistance and are over sixty-five, blind, or disabled. Minor children who are disabled could qualify for SSI benefits. Because SSI is need-based, work credits are not a requirement. Nonetheless, obtaining an approval for either SSI or SSDI benefits is a formidable task. Our experienced Fayetteville disability attorneys are available to help you. Call (479) 316-0438 to review the Social Security Disability application process and requirements.

Minimum Age to Qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance

To qualify for SSDI benefits, you must suffer from a medical impairment that lasts at least twelve months or result in your death. Your condition must also prevent you from performing the tasks necessary to earn a living. Additionally, you must have earned enough work credits. The number of work credits needed to qualify will limit claimants based on their age and work history.

The exact number of work credits required will depend on your age. You are only permitted to earn four credits per year.

If you are under the age of twenty-four, you have to have earned six credits in the three-year period prior to the onset of your medical condition. Therefore, it might be difficult to qualify for SSDI if you are only eighteen.

People between the ages of twenty-four and thirty-one must have worked half the time between their current age and twenty-one. For example, if you are applying at the age of twenty-nine, you would need to have worked for four years and have earned sixteen credits.

Applicants who are thirty-one or over will have had to earn at least twenty credits over the ten years prior to their disability.

Therefore, while there might not be an age requirement, the number of required work credits will restrict who is eligible for SSDI benefits. Our Arkansas Social Security disability lawyers will review your work history to help determine if you meet the eligibility requirements.

Maximum Age to Qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance

You are permitted to file for SSDI up until one year before your full retirement age. For some people, full the full retirement age is sixty-five. However, you must have been in 1937 or before to collect your full retirement benefits at sixty-five. For people born in subsequent years, the retirement age increases two months per year until it reaches sixty-seven for people born in 1960 or after.

If you apply for SSDI at sixty-five, you have to go through the same process as any other applicant. This means you must have earned enough work credits and have a medical condition that qualifies as a disability under the SSA’s listings.

However, if you are over sixty-five, some additional factors will influence the SSA’s decision. For example, an older applicant’s case will be given a thorough review. This means that either the case examiner or the administrative law judge is required to carefully review the available medical documentation for age-related impairments, such as diminished vision or hearing. Age-related impairments must be factored into the decision process and cannot be ignored. Nonetheless, any age-related impairments must last at least twelve months and prevent the applicant from engaging in work-related activities. If you are disabled and sixty-five or older, you should still contact our Bentonville disability lawyers to discuss your case.

Age Requirements for Supplemental Security Income

Supplemental Security Income is monthly financial assistance that is typically based on need. To qualify, you must be sixty-five or older and have limited income and resources. However, SSI is also available for the blind and the disabled.

SSI is available to children under the age of eighteen or twenty-two if they are regularly attending school. To be eligible for SSI, the child must be blind or disabled. Benefits are available from birth – there is no minimum age.

If a child is blind or has a qualifying disability, they could receive SSI benefits until the age of eighteen. Once a recipient reaches the age of eighteen, the SSA will reevaluate the individual’s medical condition to determine if the impairment qualifies under the adult definition of disability.

Applicants still must meet the financial requirements under SSI. If the applicant is under eighteen, unmarried, and lives with their parents who are not receiving SSI benefits, the SSA will consider a portion of the parent’s income and resources as if they were under the child’s possession and control. The SSA will also consider a stepparent or adoptive parent’s income and resources if the child lives with them.

Our Arkansas Social Security Disability Attorneys Help Individuals of All Ages Apply for Benefits

Throughout Arkansas, people of all ages require financial assistance because they suffer from a medical condition or disability that prevents them from earning a living. Applying for Social Security Disability benefits is intimidating. For over two decades, our Fort Smith disability attorneys have shared our legal expertise and knowledge with people seeking monthly benefits. If your child is in need or if you are unable to work, call our law offices to schedule a free consultation. Call (479) 316-0438 today.

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