Qualifying for Social Security Disability Benefits When You're Over the Age of 50

If You're Between 50 and 64 and Can't Work

Social SecurityThere are many people over the age of 50 who have worked hard all their life. Now, they have health problems that make it impossible to keep doing their trade on a full-time basis. Although their condition does not completely eliminate their capacity to do some kinds of work, they do not have the skills to get another job that is either mentally or physically less demanding. The government recognizes that older individuals, who are dealing with a disability, often find it difficult to get and adequately perform a job that is different to what they have always done. The government has established special regulations to help people in these situations obtain the disability benefits that they need.

You've Worked Hard All Your Life.

We enjoy helping people who have worked so hard for so long. If you’re over 50 and can’t work, we’d like to help you!

If You're Over 50, Complete This Form

For those over the age of 50, there are special regulations that make it easier to obtain Social Security disability benefits. The general idea behind this rationale is that the Social Security Administration knows that it is harder for an older person to transition to a new workplace or learn a new job skill.

To account for this reality, the government uses something they call the “Grid Rules”. These rules are an additional way to obtain disability benefits. These grid rules consider an individual’s age, education, work skills, and functional capacity to perform basic work assignments. In essence, the higher your age and the lower your education, work skills, and functional capacity, the easier it is to be found disabled.

 

How the Grid Rules work

As previously stated, the government will first determine your residual functional capacity (RFC). Your RFC is your ability to perform, on a full-time basis, basic job functions, such sitting, standing, walking, lifting, carrying, pushing and pulling. The Government will evaluate your testimony and medical evidence and will categorize your RFC into one of five basic categories:

  • Less than sedentary: The inability to perform even sedentary work. (i.e you are unable to sit or stand for a full 8 hour day.)

  • Sedentary work: Up to 6 hours sitting, 2 hours standing, and lifting up to 10 pounds.

  • Light work: Up to 2 hours sitting, 6 hours standing, and lifting 10 to 20 pounds.

  • Medium work: Up to 2 hours sitting, 6 hours standing, and lifting  25 to 50 pounds.

  • Heavy work: Up to 2 hours sitting, 6 hours standing, and lifting  50 to 100 pounds.

After your RFC is determined, the government, with the help of a vocational or job expert, will decide if any of the job skills you have could transfer to a different job within your RFC. Once these decisions are made, the government will reference the Grid Rules by taking your RFC and cross-referencing it with your age group, educational level, and transferable skills. The grid rules show how the Social Security Administration will decide your case based on these factors. The two most common scenarios where the grid rules will mandate a finding of disability are as follows:

  1. You are 50 years old or older, your RFC is sedentary, and you do not have any skills that would transfer to other sedentary jobs.

  2. You are 55 years old or older, your RFC is sedentary or light, and you do not have any skills that would transfer to other sedentary or light duty jobs.

How the Packard Firm Can Help

You've worked hard all your life. Now, your health problems make it impossible for you to work full time. The Grid Rules were created to help people just like you. At the Packard Law Firm, we have a team of support staff and attorneys that focuses exclusively on Social Security Disability law. We know the regulations and we know how to increase your chances of winning benefits.

Call us today at 210-880-9395 and schedule your free consultation. We enjoy helping people who have worked so hard for so long. If you’re over 50 and can’t work, we’d like to help you!