Is there a “magic age” for SSDI benefits?

On Behalf of | Sep 7, 2023 | Social Security Disability

A disability can strike anybody, at any age – but your age is actually a big factor when your Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) application is being decided.

In essence, the Social Security Administration (SSA) acknowledges that, with each passing year, it can be harder and harder for someone to make the transition to a new line of work when they’re unable to continue in their regular occupation. 

Age is a big enough factor in SSA’s decision-making process that people are twice as likely to receive benefits at age 50 than they are at age 40 – and that number doubles again between the ages of 50 and 60. 

55 is the big turning point

Prior to age 55, you may be granted SSDI benefits if you’re severely disabled and have no real ability to even do sedentary or light work. That can be very challenging criteria to meet, because it basically means you have to show that you can’t do your regular work, any prior jobs you’ve held or any new job, even with retraining.

Once you turn 55, however, the criteria SSA uses to determine your claim changes. At 55, you can be found disabled when:

  • You have a condition or combination of conditions that limit you to sedentary or light work, and
  • Your education and work experience don’t allow for direct entry into skilled or semiskilled work that can be done despite your limitations.

Truly, there is no “magic age” that makes it a breeze to get your SSDI claim approved – but the process does get a bit easier as you grow older. If you’ve been unfairly denied benefits for any reason, it may be time to review your legal options.