If you have become disabled after age 50 but before you qualify for Social Security at age 65, you are in a unique position when it comes to Social Security disability benefits. When you reach age 50 disability standards shift and it can be easier to obtain benefits if you can provide proof of your inability to continue working. Older workers, particularly those who have worked at physical labor, are more likely to become disabled than younger workers. However, it is also more difficult for older workers to compete with younger workers for jobs, especially if they have a physical or mental health disability.
The Social Security Administration takes these factors in to consideration when they are evaluating a case with these circumstances. If you’ve found yourself in this position, you have good chance at being awarded benefits even if you are able to work at some occupation that is less physically stressful than your previous position. When the SSA receives an application for Social Security disability benefits and the claimant is between the ages 50 to 64, the SSA uses “Grid Rules” to evaluate the case. Using these rules, the SSA will look at things like your level of education, the type of work you’ve done in the past, your current skill set and your medical condition. Taking all of these factors in to consideration, they will determine whether or not you’ll be awarded benefits.
With that said, even if you fit the criteria we’ve mentioned above, you are not guaranteed benefits. You still have to go through the traditional application process. You also have to provide proof of your disability and all the supporting paperwork as any other claimant would.