Q How Does Age Affect My Social Security Disability Claim?
There's a lot of confusion, because while age doesn't usually play a part in how much money you can receive through SSDI, it can affect your eligibility.
So the short answer is that your age is not likely a factor in determining what you will receive through a Social Security disability claim. It only factors in when considering the work requirement for being eligible in the first place.
There are complex requirements for obtaining SSDI, including two work-related tests used to determine if you're eligible for disability insurance: a “recent work test” and a “duration of work test.”
The “recent work test” is based on your age at the time you were disabled. Generally “recent work” is defined as the 10-year period immediately leading up to your disability. In most cases, you need to have worked five of the 10 years in question.
If you're younger than 31 at the time you become disabled, the definition of “recent work” changes. In this situation, the Social Security Administration considers “recent work” to be the number of years you were able to work between turning 21 and the time of your disability.
Generally, you'll need to have worked half the time you were able to pass the “recent work test.” For example, if you were 29 when your disability occurred, you need to have worked four of the eight years in question.
The “duration of work” test is dependent on how old your are at the time of your disability. The older you are the more time you need to have been in the workforce to receive SSDI. Eligibility requirements can be as low as one-and-a-half years of work for applicants between 21 and 24, or as high as 10 years for applicants 62 and older.
Finally, if you are past the age of mandatory retirement (which is determined by when your were born) you can't receive disability insurance, but can be eligible to receive retirement benefits.
So while your age shouldn't prevent you from obtaining SSDI and shouldn't directly affect how much you can receive, it can play a part through your work history.
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