Qualifying Over Age 50

Are you over age 50? If so, you might have an easier time qualifying for Social Security disability benefits than a younger applicant.

Grid Rules and Social Security

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 you'll need to qualify, while a Medical Vocational Allowance approval determines how much work you're able to perform with an illness, and what forms of work you're qualified for.

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

Qualified Work Over 50

Once you're 50, the SSA believes it's much more challenging to be retrained for another job. This means that if you have a limited work history and a physically disabling condition, you might qualify for benefits when a 25-year-old applicant wouldn't.

Applying for disability benefits over age 50 makes it easier to qualify. Here's a little more information on how the grid rules and medical criteria will affect your Social Security claim depending on your diagnosis: