How Does Turning 50 Affect Your Disability Benefits?

50th birthday

Turning 50 is a tremendous milestone for anyone. However, people collecting Social Security Disability Insurance (SSD) may wonder what this means for their benefits. While the rules for SSD technically do not change when the beneficiary turns 50, here are five ways the SSA considers age and could work in your favor.

1. Age Categories: The SSA considers different age categories when evaluating disability claims, such as work history, transferable skills, and the ability to adjust to new types of work. These rules may be more lenient for people over 50.

2. Medical-Vocational Guidelines (Grid Rules): The SSA uses the “Medical-Vocational Guidelines” or “Grid Rules” to assess disability claims for claimants of various age groups. These guidelines consider factors such as age, education, work experience, and the severity of the medical condition. Generally, the rules may become more favorable for claimants as they approach their 50s and beyond.

3. Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA): To qualify for SSD, you must meet the criteria for disability, and your medical condition must prevent you from engaging in “substantial gainful activity” (SGA). The SGA threshold may change over time due to various factors, and the SSA typically reviews and adjusts this threshold annually.

4. Review of Disability Status: Social Security periodically reviews the disability status of beneficiaries to ensure that they still meet the criteria for disability. This process, known as a Continuing Disability Review (CDR), may occur at different intervals depending on factors such as the severity of the medical condition and the likelihood of improvement. Age can be a factor in determining how frequently CDRs are conducted.

5. Early Retirement vs. Disability: As you approach early retirement age (typically 62), consider whether you want to apply for early retirement benefits instead of SSD. Early retirement benefits come with specific reductions, and your decision should be based on your financial situation and health considerations. In addition, you could apply for both benefits, but it could reduce the payments you receive.

If you are turning 50 or approaching early retirement age and have questions about how this affects your benefits or eligibility for SSD, speak with an experienced Social Security Disability attorney at the Disability Attorneys of Michigan for free today.

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Applying for disability benefits could be challenging for a newcomer. At the Disability Attorneys of Michigan, we know this and ensure the process is as stress-free as possible for our clients. If you’re struggling with a disability and making ends meet, we’re here to help.

Contact us today by submitting a form below or call our office at 800-949-2900 for a free case evaluation.

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