Can age affect your Social Security disability case? Your age is an important consideration for your Northbrook Social Security disability attorney. That’s because rules about disability cases vary for claimants who are under or over 55. If you’re older, you may have an easier time showing that you cannot perform your usual work.
Relevant Work Experience
Social Security disability (SSD) cases hinge on your work experience and the administration’s Medical-Vocational Guidelines. First, you need to show that you cannot perform your past employment due to your disability. So-called “past relevant work” includes any job that you performed in the last 15 years. The agency will also consider what training was required to perform these jobs. At this stage, your attorney will gather evidence to prove that you’re unable to perform relevant past work. If the Social Security Administration determines that you can perform your job even in a diminished capacity, your claim might be denied. Unfortunately, this means that you won’t have an immediate chance to benefit from the more lenient Medical-Vocational Guidelines that apply to workers over 55.
Generally, older SSD applicants have an advantage when case workers use the administration’s Medical-Vocational Guidelines. These rules determine whether you can perform your past relevant work or other unrelated tasks. If you are over 55, the guidelines recognize that adjusting to a new job will put unnecessary strain on you and might worsen your disability. One of the presumptions in the document says that applicants who are over 55 and can only perform limited unskilled light work won’t be able to adapt to other tasks at that age. This is a point that your Northbrook Social Security disability attorney will emphasize throughout your case.
Applying for Retirement or SSD Benefits
If you are approaching retirement eligibility, you might be tempted to wait and file for Social Security retirement benefits at age 62. Your attorney will probably advise against this. Financially, it’s better to receive SSD benefits until you’re 65. Otherwise, the Social Security Administration will only pay a portion of your retirement benefits.
Contact a Northbrook Social Security Disability Attorney
If you’re suffering from a disability and aren’t sure what to do next, a lawyer can help. Call us to request a free case evaluation with a Northbrook Social Security disability attorney today.