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The Impact On Disability Claims As People Get Older

The Social Security Administration takes age into account when considering whether to approve a person for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. The SSA looks to see whether younger workers have the ability to do any type of work that exists in significant numbers in the United States economy. While younger workers may not be able to continue doing one type of work, they may be able to do other work that is less physically or mentally demanding.

Older workers may face a different challenge in proving disability. If the SSA sees that you have worked your entire life in one profession and that you are now in your 50s, the question is whether your skills will be transferrable to another job, which is within your physical or mental capabilities.

This means that if you are a nurse, for example, and you have been doing only one job for many years, the SSA recognizes that you have skills involving medical knowledge and caring for sick or injured people. If you are a carpenter, for example, the SSA recognizes that your skills may involve reading plans, knowledge of and the ability to use various tools and materials.

The SSA reviews your medical records for evidence that you can or cannot do your past work, looking at information such as how much you can lift, how long you can sit or stand, or how well you can focus and maintain attention and concentration. If the SSA finds that you cannot work in your own profession, is there an expectation that your skills are transferrable to other, less demanding work? If the answer is no, you should be found to be disabled and receive the benefits you need and deserve.

What Does This Mean For Workers?

Every situation is different and it is impossible to give accurate legal advice over the Internet. The only way that you can know for sure is to speak with an experienced attorney.

For younger workers, it is especially critical that you establish through your medical records and the opinions of your treating doctors a complete inability to do any type of work whatsoever on a full-time, eight-hours-per-day, five-days-per-week basis. This is an extremely difficult burden of proof. That is why it is critical to see your doctors, therapists and other health professionals on a regular basis and to be straightforward with them. (You cannot tell a doctor or a therapist that you are doing "OK" and expect the SSA to find that you are not able to work; people who are unable to work are not "OK.") That is also why it is critical to get the legal help you need as early in the Social Security Disability process as possible.

Get The Legal Help You Need

No matter what your age, talking with an experienced disability lawyer is a good idea when SSDI or SSI benefits are at stake. Whether you are making an initial application for benefits or your claim has been denied, I can assist you. You pay no fees unless my team secures or reinstates your SSDI or SSI benefits. Contact my law firm today for a free consultation. Call 215-268-7274 or toll free at 800-346-7600.