One of the most common questions a Social Security disability lawyer in St Charles is asked is how does age affect a claim for disability. While age is a factor in determining a disability, it is not the only factor. If you are filing for Social Security disability, there are several things that you should understand about the approval process.
One of the first things that should be understood is that the Social Security Administration (SSA) has created a “grid” for determining disability. This grid is a set of standards for medical and vocational guidelines. These guidelines are used to determine if your disability prevents you from being employed. Your Social Security disability lawyer in St Charles will explain that this grid is used for every case that is presented to the SSA so that every case is treated fairly.
Residual Functional Capacity Levels
Another important factor that is considered by the SSA in determining benefits is your residual functional capacity (RFC). Your Social Security disability attorney in St Charles will explain that this determines your physical capabilities at work. There are four categories used to classify your RFC.
- Sedentary: Unable to lift more than 10 pounds at any given time
- Light Work: Able to lift up to 10 pounds frequently and 20 pounds occasionally
- Medium Work: Able to lift 25 pounds frequently and 50 pounds on occasion
- Heavy Work: Able to lift 50 pounds or more throughout the workday
The SSA uses these guidelines to determine if you are able to perform any of these types of duties despite your disability. This is a very important part of the approval process and will be used closely with the applicant’s age.
The Grid and Your Age
The SSA uses more than medical information to determine your eligibility. Your Social Security disability attorney in St Charles will explain how your age impacts their decision. According to the grid, if you are between the ages of 18 and 44, you are labeled young. Between 45 and 49, you are considered younger. Age 50 to 54 is approaching advanced age, ages 55 to 60 are advanced age, and 61 and over are labeled close to retirement. Using these guidelines as well as other information in the grid, the SSA will determine if you qualify for benefits. Someone who is 50 and older is more likely to be seen as a candidate for disability than someone considered young or younger. This is why it is very important to have a Social Security disability attorney in St Charles managing your case, especially if you fall into the category of young or younger.
Being Older Has Its Benefits
The SSA believes that a person who is 50 to 54 years of age and is limited to sedentary work and who has no transferable jobs to another position is disabled. It is their belief that based on this age there is little benefit in retraining someone to perform a sedentary position. For those who are 55 and over, the SSA may rule in favor of disability even if the applicant is capable of light work conditions or even occasionally medium work. However, it should be noted that each case is handled separately and outcomes are based on many determining factors.
Children Under 18
There are special qualifications for disability benefits for children who are under 18 years of age. There must be medical proof of severe mental or physical impairments that will prevent the child from seeking employment. Other conditions also apply to this type of situation. Because the guidelines and medical impairment qualifications are so different than that of an adult seeking disability, the guardian of the disabled child should seek legal advice when applying for benefits.
Speak to a Social Security Disability Lawyer in St Charles Today
The Social Security disability system was intended to help those who have become disabled and can no longer work. Sadly, the application process can become confusing and frustrating. Understanding how to qualify, meeting deadlines, and understanding what to do if denied can be overwhelming. The Law Office of David M. Hicks understands these frustrations. They also understand how important it is for you to be approved so that you can have an income. This understanding allows each attorney to aggressively represent your case before the Social Security Administration. You do not have to fight for your rights to receive disability benefits alone. Call for a free consultation at 314.812.4885 and speak to a Social Security disability lawyer in St Charles today.