A Lakeland Social Security disability attorney may be able to help you determine how your age will impact Social Security disability benefits approval or denial. The Social Security Administration considers multiple factors when it comes to establishing your eligibility for disability benefits or Supplementary Security Income (SSI). Age is one of the predominate criteria when making this decision as it significantly affects whether you can reasonably be expected to train for another job.
Vocational Guidelines for Social Security Disability
The disability process is made more uniform by the establishment of a set of vocational guidelines often known as the “medical-vocational grid.” The first of these guidelines is Residual Functional Capacity (RFC). RFC comes in various levels. The Social Security Administration has determined four physical categories when it comes to evaluating your vocational limitations. These categories determine the tasks you may be able to perform in spite of any limitations your condition imposes upon you. The categories are sedentary, light, medium, and heavy work. Sedentary work is typically defined as work that involves lifting no more than ten pounds at any time. Light work involves lifting no more than ten pounds on a frequent basis. Medium work involves lifting twenty-five pounds frequently and fifty pounds on only an occasional basis. Finally, heavy work involves lifting more than fifty pounds.
The Grid and Your Disability Benefits
A Lakeland Social Security disability attorney may be able to help you determine whether you are able to receive Social Security disability benefits according to “the grid.” The grid considers factors other than medical information when determining your ability to work, including age, skills, and educational level. These factors are considered alongside your residual functional capacity. There are multiple age categories as determined by the Social Security Administration. Individuals ages 18 to 44 are considered young, while those 50 to 54 are considered close to advanced age. If you are 55 or older, you are considered at advanced age, while those 60 to 65 are closely approaching retirement age. Social Security uses these groups as a guidelines alongside your residual functional capacity to determine your employment options. Social Security also considers the skill level of your past work and your education. If you are considered young by Social Security standards and have no college education or ability to perform more than sedentary work, your disability benefits are likely to be denied. However, if you have the same qualifications but are over the age of 50, you are more likely to be given benefits.
The Benefits of Age in a Disability Claim
The medical-vocational grid rules tend to favor those approaching advanced or retirement age. If you are limited in your ability to work and over the age of 50, you are more likely to be approved for disability. Social Security does not expect you to go through significant retraining to learn a sedentary job as you approach an advanced age. The medical-vocational rules highly favor those over the age of 55. Even if you can perform light work, or less than the full responsibilities of a medium work job, you are likely to be approved for disability because of your age. The Social Security Administration is not likely to expect you to transfer to a new set of skills or go into an entirely new vocation. While these examples provide a general indication as to how the Social Security Administration determines vocational ability, a Lakeland Social Security disability attorney may be able to provide you with information that is more specific to your particular situation. Even if you do not fit the minimum medical-vocational classifications for someone at your age, your disability claim may still be successful. Filing a successful claim is largely dependent on your administrative law judge hearing. Working with someone who has a good working knowledge of the medical-vocational grid is essential.
Children’s SSI disability claims are not assessed in the same manger as adult claims, but age is equally important. Children under the age of 18 who file for SSI are evaluated according to whether they have a severe physical or mental impairment that causes marked and severe functional limitations. These standards are used in place of an inability to work. The SSA also has a separate list of medical impairment listings for children under the age of 18.
Contact a Lakeland Social Security Disability Attorney
Contact Kaylor, Kaylor, and Leto, PA today at (800) 900-7734 for assistance from a Lakeland Social Security disability attorney you can trust.