Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Age is an Important Factor in Your Social Security Disability Application

As a Social Security Disability Lawyer, I am particularly sympathetic to applicants who are forced to start over and learn a new career when --as a result of an illness or a condition-- they can no longer perform the duties of their old job.  I find that helping Social Security Disability applicants who are over 50 is very gratifying and would like to provide a brief explanation of some of the strategies used by competent Social Security Lawyers who work in these types of cases.   

Fortunately, the Social Security Administration acknowledges a basic precept of the human condition: the older we get, the harder it is for us to perform certain types of work and re-adapt to the requirements of a new job.  In fact, Social Security Disability law provides different guidelines for different age groups.  As a general rule, the older you are, the more likely you are to get Social Security Disability Benefits. 

Social Security Disability rules regarding age are contained in the Medical Vocational Guidelines, which are rules used by the Social Security Administration to determine whether an applicant can adapt to a new job.  Social Security Disability Lawyers commonly referred to these rules as: "the Grids". 

Once a person turns 50, the Grids play a pivotal role in the Social Security Disability Process.  In many instances, the Grids specifically establish that certain applicants qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits as a matter of law.  For example, if your condition limits you to sedentary work and you are over 50, Social Security assumes that you are no longer able to adapt to a new type of job.  Therefore, age makes a huge difference in determining disability.  Based on the Grids, a person that can only do simple sedentary work at 48, will loose, but would be able to obtain Social Security Disability Benefits at age 50.  Moreover, at age 55, the rules are even more favorable to the applicant.  Social Security assumes that a 55 year old person who is physically capable of performing light work, cannot transition to any other type of work. 

As an attorney, I use these legal presumptions contained in the Grids to help persons over 50 win their Social Security Disability Benefits.  If you are considering filing for Social Security Disability Benefits or would like to know how your age might impact the possibility of obtaining benefits, feel free to call me at (860) 338-5619 and ask for a free case evaluation.  You may also fill the brief questionnaire at the top right corner of this page and submit it to my office.  I will try to get back to you within 24 hours.