HomeFactsSocial Security Disability Rules After Age 60

Social Security Disability Rules After Age 60

When Will Your Ssdi Benefits Convert To Retirement Benefits

Disability Over 50: Why Age Counts in a Social Security Disability Case

You are eligible for retirement benefits once you turn 62, but that does not necessarily mean that your SSDI benefits will convert on your 62nd birthday. The SSA will automatically convert your SSDI benefits to retirement benefits once you reach what is known as full retirement age. Contrary to popular belief, the full retirement age is not 62.

Your full retirement age will vary depending on the year you were born. For example, if you were born in 1960 or later, your full retirement age is 67. This means if you are currently receiving SSDI benefits and you were born in 1960 or later, your SSDI benefits will not convert to retirement benefits until your 67th birthday. Full retirement ages for other birth years are:

  • 1937 or earlier: 65 years old
  • 1938: 65 years 2 months old
  • 1939: 65 years 4 months old
  • 1940: 65 years 6 months old
  • 1941: 65 years 8 months old
  • 1942: 65 years 10 months old
  • 1943-1954: 66 years old
  • 1955: 66 years 2 months old
  • 1956: 66 years 4 months old
  • 1957: 66 years 6 months old
  • 1958: 66 years 8 months old
  • 1959: 66 years 10 months old

If you were born on January 1st, you should look to the previous year to determine your full retirement age. For example, if you were both on January 1, 1955, you should look at the full retirement age for people born in 1954. This means your full retirement age would be 66 years old rather than 66 years 2 months old.

Special Provisions For Older Workers Seeking Social Security Disability

About 156 million workers were granted SSDI benefits due to a long-lasting impairment, and about 8.2 million disabled workers were granted SSDI after 50 benefits.

Applicants Ages 50 to 54

The SSA does not have any special rules for applicants who are older than 50. People who are disabled, are 50 to 54 years old, and cannot perform any work that involves limited physical activity may improve their chances of getting approved for benefits.

Applicants Ages 55 to 60

When a claimant is age 55 to 60, then the SSA will analyze the age, past work experience, education level, and performance in less demanding work. If you have serious health problems, you may be granted disability benefits in the first instance. Further, the SSA regularly appoints vocational experts who can testify with regard to an individuals capabilities in a work setting.

Applicants Older Than 60

Disability rules are more flexible for claimants who are older than 60. People who have disabilities are likely to receive the benefits they need if they are unable to perform any work. The SSAs determination can increase your chance of drawing complete Social Security retirement benefits. The benefits will be granted when you are completely retired at the age of 62. This can help you receive increased retirement benefits instead of accepting reduced benefits at a younger age.

Filing For Social Security Disability After Age 50

If youre over the age of 50 and have been working with significant medical issues, now may be the time to file for Social Security Disability. The Social Security Administration has special rules that are used in assessing your claim.

Leah Michael explains why it may be easier to get Social Security Disability benefits after age 50.

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The Rules For Approval Relax The Greater The Claimant’s Age

Reflecting that general understanding that the human body tends to breakdown with wear-and-tear over time, the rules to gain entitlement to benefits actually relax significantly as you age.

Many people have heard that getting a disability claim approved can be very difficult– and that’s true. However, Social Security uses what they term “Medical-Vocational Guidelines” to determine whether or not a claimant for benefits is capable of doing alternative work or being retrained.

These are often called “the Grid Rules” because of the format they’re listed in for claims examiners to use. What these rules boil down to is that the younger you are, the more likely you can perform more physically intense jobs or even sedentary work and be retrained to do a new type of job.

Once someone turns 50, the medical-vocational guidelines start to relax. They relax even further at age 55 and then relax the most at age 60 onward. By the time you reach 60, your claim can be approved even if you can perform some light-duty or medium-duty work — depending on your education and prior work experience. That’s much less restrictive than the rules someone younger has to meet.

Grid Rules And Social Security

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There are two forms of qualification for disability benefits: approval based on the Blue Book, or approval based on a Medical Vocational Allowance. The Blue Book is a medical resource outlining exactly what test results or symptoms youll need to qualify. A Medical Vocational Allowance approval determines how much work youre able to perform with an illness, and what forms of work youre qualified to do.

Once youre over age 50, Medical Vocational Allowances rely heavily on grid rules, which are a series of yes or no questions that help determine if youll qualify for disability benefits. Once youre over age 50, itll be much easier to be approved via the grid rules. The SSA is more lenient with how much work youre able to do while still qualifying for benefits.

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An Exception To The Grids

If Social Security decides that your condition doesn’t prevent you from doing your previous work for at least a year, you will be denied. In this case Social Security doesn’t have to abide by the grid rules, since they are used to determine whether you should be able to adjust to a new type of work. If Social Security denies you benefits for this reason, speak to an experienced disability lawyer.

You could be eligible for up to $3,148 per month In SSDI Benefits

The Number Of People Qualifying For Social Security Disability Benefits Has Increased

For over 60 years, Social Security disability has helped increasing numbers of workers and their families replace lost income. Several factors have contributed to this increase, which the Social Security Trustees and our actuaries have projected for decades. For example, baby boomers have reached their most disability-prone years and more women have joined the workforce in the past few decades, working consistently enough to qualify for benefits if they become disabled.

Despite the increase, the 9 million or so people getting Social Security disability benefits represent just a small subset of Americans living with disabilities.

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The Social Security Disability Determination Process

You must have a disability that meets the definition established under the Social Security Act to be approved for SSDI. It requires medical evidence proving that you have a medically determinable physical or mental impairment that prevents you from engaging in substantial gainful activity. The impairment must be expected to last for at least 12 months or result in death.

Social Security uses the following steps in a sequential determination process to review your application and decide whether your medical condition qualifies you for benefits:

If you are 50 and older, SSD rules after age 50 make it somewhat easier for you to be approved for SSDI when your application reaches step five in the evaluation process. The SSA recognizes the reluctance of employers to hire older workers to do a job at which they have no experience. It may not pay for a company to train a worker who may be eligible for early retirement benefits from Social Security at age 62. This advantage becomes even more likely for workers who are closer to either early or full retirement.

Regardless of any advantage SSD rules after age 50 may provide you in the application process, it can be denied. If that happens, consult an SSDI lawyer at the Clauson Law Firm to learn about your options to appeal the decision.

Can Social Security Disability Change At Age 62

What Are Grid Rules For Ages 60 ? – Social Security Disability
  • Legal Posts

Its not easy to get approved for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits. In fact, according to the Social Security Administration , between 63% to 74% of initial applications for SSDI benefits are denied. Because it is so hard to get approved in the first place, many people who receive these benefits worry about eventually losing them.

This is especially true for people who are nearing retirement age. Will your SSDI benefits stop once you reach retirement age? Will the amount you receive every month change? What changes should you expect? If you are concerned about your benefits, a Tampa Social Security disability attorney can help. But in general, here is the information you need to know:

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Social Security Disability Rules After Age 50

Understanding the over age 50 guidelines is important when filing claims for Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income benefits. In considering your claim, Social Security will consider the following factors:

Your Age. Social Security takes age into consideration, understanding that there are fewer jobs open to people as they age.

Level of Education: Your level of education may qualify you for some kinds of desk jobs that require little, if any, physical ability.

Your Work History: If you can no longer perform the jobs you have always held in the last 15 years and are over the age of 50, then you may qualify for benefits under the over age 50 guidelines.

Will Converting To Retirement Benefits Affect Your Health Insurance

Anyone who is approved for SSDI benefits will be eligible for Medicare after a period of 24 months. At this time, you are eligible for Medicare Part A at no cost. Medicare Part A, also known as hospital insurance, pays for inpatient hospital care and certain other services.

You can also enroll in other types of coverage, including Medicare Part B, or medical insurance. Medicare Part B covers outpatient care, home health care, certain preventative services, and services provided by doctors. However, you will be required to pay a monthly premium for Part B and other types of Medicare coverage.

You will not lose this health insurance coverage once your SSDI benefits are converted to retirement benefits. This conversion will not affect your health insurance coverage.

Read Also: Social Security Requirements For Disability

Special Rules For People Who Are Blind Or Have Low Vision

We consider you to be legally blind under Social Security rules if your vision cannot be corrected to better than 20/200 in your better eye. We will also consider you legally blind if your visual field is 20 degrees or less, even with a corrective lens. Many people who meet the legal definition of blindness still have some sight and may be able to read large print and get around without a cane or a guide dog.

If you do not meet the legal definition of blindness, you may still qualify for disability benefits. This may be the case if your vision problems alone or combined with other health problems prevent you from working.

There are several special rules for people who are blind that recognize the severe impact of blindness on a person’s ability to work. For example, the monthly earnings limit for people who are blind is generally higher than the limit that applies to non-blind workers with disabilities.

In 2022, the monthly earnings limit is $2,260.

Ten Years Qualifying Residence

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Ten years qualifying residence is satisfied if the claimant has:

  • been an Australian resident continuously for at least 10 years at any point in the past, OR
  • been an Australian resident for 2 or more periods that in total exceed 10 years, AND
  • at least one of those periods is of 5 years duration or more.

Act reference:SSAct section 7 Australian residence definitions, section 43 Qualification for Age

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What You Should Know About Social Security Disability Benefits

Social Security rules are complicated and change often. For the most recent Ask Larry columns, check out maximizemysocialsecurity.com/ask-larry.

Boston University economist Larry Kotlikoff has spent every week, for over two years, answering questions about what is likely your largest financial asset your Social Security benefits. His Social Security original 34 secrets, his additional secrets, his Social Security mistakes and his Social Security gotchas have prompted so many of you to write in that we feature Ask Larry every Monday. Find a complete list of his columns here. And keep sending us your Social Security questions.

Kotlikoffs state-of-the-art retirement software is available here, for free, in its basic version. His new book, Get Whats Yours the Secrets to Maxing Out Your Social Security Benefits, was published in February by Simon & Schuster.

Watch Larry explain how Paul and his wife could collect an extra $50,000 in Social Security benefits:

Sarah: I filled in that I have a disabled child on your Social Security calculator. My son receives Social Security Income but has earned over the SGA of $1,090 per month about three times this year and may receive over this amount again. He works as a software tester with a company that trains and pays people with autism.

Providing You With The Experienced Support You Need

You do not have to deal with the complexities of applying for SSD benefits on your own. The attorneys of Harlan Still & Koch are experienced advocates. We are committed to supporting you from start to finish.

Arrange a free consultation with one of our lawyers today. Call our Columbia offices at or contact us online.

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At Age 55 It Gets Even Better

If you are over age 55, and if you cannot do your past work because of health problems you are a good candidate for disability benefits. Again, the Social Security Administration considers your age, education, past work and your ability to transfer your work skills to less demanding work. Frequently, Social Security uses Vocational Experts to testify at hearings about ones ability to transfer work skills.

What If I Change My Mind


If you receive Social Security benefits at a reduced rate but then change your mind, you have the option of withdrawing your application within the first 12 months of receiving benefits and paying back to the government what you’ve already received . Then, you could restart benefits at a later date to take advantage of a higher payout. Be aware that you’re limited to one withdrawal per lifetime.

For example, let’s say you elected to receive early benefits at age 62 but then decided to go back to work at age 63. You could withdraw your Social Security application, pay back the years’ worth of benefits you received, go back to work, and then wait until your full retirement age to restart your benefit checks at a higher level.

Once you reach full retirement age, another option is to voluntarily stop benefits at any point before age 70 to receive delayed retirement credits . Benefits will automatically restart at age 70 at a higher amountâunless you choose to start taking benefits before then. Note that when you withdraw your application or stop your benefits after full retirement age, you must specify if your Medicare coverageâif you have itâshould be included in the withdrawal.

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How Many People Receive Di Benefits

In December 2014, nearly 9 million disabled workers received social insurance benefits under the DI program . Since the passage of the 1958 amendments to the Social Security Act, the DI program has also provided benefits to the spouses and minor children of millions of disabled workers.3 In December 2014, 1.8 million children and 148,955 spouses of disabled workers received these auxiliary benefits from the DI Trust Fund.

Table 1. Number of DI beneficiaries and amount of benefits paid, by benefit type, December 2014

Number or amount
NOTES: Benefit amounts exclude retroactive payments and other adjustments. Totals do not necessarily equal the sum of rounded components.
a. Total benefit payments from the DI Trust Fund in 2014, including retroactive payments and other adjustments, were $141.6 billion .

The average benefit amount for disabled workers was about $1,165 a month in December 2014, equivalent to $13,985 a year. The combined benefits for disabled workers, their spouses, and their children were about $11.1 billion in December 2014, equivalent to about $133.4 billion over the course of a year. Including the retroactive payments and other adjustments, the aggregate income that flowed into the national economy from the DI Trust Fund was $141.6 billion in 2014.

Grids For Claimants Who Are 60

The grids are especially helpful for people aged 60-65 in winning their claim, because Social Security realizes that people over 60 may have difficulty in transferring to new types of workplaces and learning new skills. But if the grids direct a finding of “not disabled” in your case, you can still be approved. Below we’ll discuss how you can win your claim even if the grids say you’re not disabled.

The SSA categorizes people who are 60-65 as “closely approaching retirement age.” The SSA has specific rules grid rules for applicants in this age group. Before reading the next section on using the grids for age 60-65, please read our overview article on using the grids to learn what, besides age and RFC, the grids take into account to make a determination in your case.

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