Protecting Your Rights for over 25 Years

Does age matter when it comes to SSDI?

On Behalf of | Feb 9, 2023 | Social Security Disability

As we age, we may find our normal work activities become more difficult, especially if we have developed a serious injury or medical condition due to our many years on the job.

For example, a plumber spent their entire career working under sinks and crawlspaces. By the time they are 50, they have significant degeneration in their knees. Simply put, they can no longer work as a plumber.

Still, after that many years on the job and with retirement age quickly approaching, transitioning into a new line of work can be difficult, especially with a broken body and limited work experience. So, the plumber decides to apply for Social Security Disability Income (SSDI).

Transitioning to other types of work

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has a five-step process for determining if we qualify for SSDI. Step 5 is considering whether we are able to do any type of work other than the work we have done in the past.

One thing that stops even able-bodied workers from continuing in their jobs is advanced age. A person of advanced age can have a hard time transitioning to a new line of work. If they have a disability, this transition might be impossible.

Does the SSA consider age when deciding if we can do any other type of work?

Age and disability

The SSA will not consider age alone when deciding whether we can do any other type of work. Instead, it will consider age along with our limitations and symptoms, our education and our work experience.

However, the SSA does recognize that advanced age limits our ability to transition to another line of work.

If we are under age 50, the SSA generally does not deem age to be a significant factor in our ability to transition to another line of work.

However, if we are between ages 50 to 54, the SSA might decide that our age, when combined with a serious disability and limited work experience, could significantly impact our ability to transition to another line of work.

And, if we are age 55 or older, the SSA might decide that our advanced age significantly affects our ability to transition to another line of work. The SSA has additional rules for those nearing the age of retirement (60 or older).

It can sometimes be easier for an older person to qualify for SSDI compared with a younger person, but this is not necessarily the case for everyone. When we are denied SSDI, regardless of our age, we might have the option of appealing the denial.