What Happens If I Am Over 50 and Denied SSDI?

Submitted by emm on Thu, 08/18/2022 - 16:19

Sustaining an injury or developing an illness can trigger acute fear and anxiety. The negative emotions morph into debilitating emotional distress because you can no longer work.

Submitting an application for Social Security disability benefits can alleviate some of the negative emotions. However, what if the SSA denies your disability claim? If you are older than 50 years, what happens if the SSA denies your claim for SSDI?

The SSA denies more than 65 percent of all disability claims, which means you should be prepared to hire a disability attorney to help you navigate the appeals process.

What Happens After You Are Denied Disability Benefits?

If the SSA denied your disability claim, you do not want to file a new claim. The reason for this is you can expect the same result the second time around and you have to wait months to hear the bad news.

Instead of filing a new claim, you file an appeal for reconsideration. An appeal for reconsideration represents the first step in the appeal process.

Disability Determination Services (DDS), which is a part of the SSA, conducts a review of your claim when it reaches the appeal for reconsideration stage.

The request for reconsideration receives a review by a medical examiner who did not participate in the original decision that denied your claim for Social Security disability benefits.

Any of the medical examiners that participated in the review of your original claim are forbidden to analyze the evidence presented with the request for reconsideration.

The SSA approves around 15 percent of all requests for reconsideration. This means you should be ready to take your appeal to the next step, which is a hearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ).

Why Am I Denied Disability Benefits If I Am Over 50?

Age is not a factor in determining the strength of your disability claim. The SSA denies disability claims for several different reasons, with a lack of medical evidence representing the most common reason.

You must meet the medical criteria published in the Blue Book to be eligible to receive financial assistance for your disability.

Once you clear the medical criteria phase of the review, you then have to demonstrate you have accumulated at least 40 work credits throughout your career, as well as have missed work for 12 consecutive months as a result of living with a debilitating medical condition.

The amount of money you need to earn for one work credit changes every year. For 2020, you must earn $1,510 in compensation to receive one disability work credit. You can acquire no more than four work credits per year.

What Are the GRID Rules?

Although the SSA does not directly determine eligibility for Social Security disability benefits by using age as a factor, the federal agency has developed Medical Vocational Guidelines, which also are referred to as the GRID rules.

If you are older than 50 years, you might benefit from the application of the GRID rules in your case.

GRID rules take into consideration the difficulty an older worker has in finding employment. Many companies hire younger workers to reduce the cost of labor, as well as limit the value of employee benefits.

Because workers over 50 have more difficulty finding a job than their younger counterparts, GRID rules make it easier for older workers to receive disability benefits.

Schedule a free case evaluation today to improve your chances of getting a disability claim approved by the SSA.

Additional Resources

Top Reasons Why Disability Claims Are Denied
How to File an Appeal When Denied Disability Benefits