Is my age considered when I file for disability?
Generally speaking, your age is a significant factor to be considered by the Social Security Administration (“Administration”) when you file for disability. When you file, you will indicate the day you feel that you became disabled and your age on that date is the date that matters the most. I’ll explain.
Keep in mind that the Administration has to determine whether you can – or cannot – work at jobs that are available in the national workplace. Common sense would tell us that as we get older, we are no longer able to do certain jobs, especially those that require significant amounts of physical activity. That “common sense” is built into the rules the Administration uses in determining whether or not you’re disabled.
The rules suggest different age categories and the breakdown is as follows: Age 18-44 is a category considered; then age 45-49 is considered; then age 50-54 followed by 55-65. Where you fall into these categories will impact how they consider your ability to work. Once again, in a general sense, jobs that require lots of standing, walking, lifting, etc., are gradually eliminated from consideration because as we get older, many of us have limitations with our ability to stand, walk, lift, etc. Many jobs just require more than we are able to do.
While many things are considered as part of their evaluation, the Administration will indeed consider your age as they evaluate your condition and your ability to perform work related tasks. As an example, a 47 year old individual is evaluated differently than a 57 year old individual. Age is obviously not the bottom line determining factor, but it is a very important part of the equation.
Michael A. LeBoeuf, Associate Attorney
Peter J. Lemoine & Associates