Just like retirement benefits, the disability benefits are also seen as giving maximized benefits after they have matured. Although the Social Security Administrations requires a person to have sufficient work credits (40 work hours) to be eligible to claim the disability benefits, it is very difficult but not impossible to claim the disability benefits at a younger age.
For people under the age of 50, it may be harder to get disability benefits than an older person. However, some exceptions may apply to the rule if the situation is dire enough for the claimant as determined by the Social Security Administration, SSA.
Blue Book medical impairments and eligibility
One of the essential conditions of winning a disability claim is being able to prove that your disability is listed in the SSA’s Blue Book of medical impairments. The Blue Book’s listings are a group of medical impairments that the SSA will approve automatically for disability as long as the requirements of the listing are fully met.
If you meet the requirements of a listing (for instance, you have childhood cancer or lost limbs), it doesn’t matter what age you are — you can get disability benefits. However, winning a claim based on the listing can be difficult because of the detailed requirements needed to meet the listings.
Falling under the SSA ‘grids’
Grids are SSA’s criteria of determining if a person can be labeled as disabled due to physical impairments other than medical conditions. The SSA determines this by looking at the person’s age, education, prior work experience and skills sets through an RFC form. If these physical impairments or conditions limit a person’s ability to perform work then they may be considered eligible under disability claims regardless of their age.
However, even if a person is granted the status of completely fit through their RFC, they can still be considered under the level of education. If you are younger than 50 and have limited or no education or if you or your loved one is unable to speak or communicate in English then they may be granted the disability benefits depending on their situation.
Challenging the SSA ‘grids’
For individuals younger than 50 between the age 18-49, they would directly be labeled as not disabled under the ‘grids’ methods. However, this is not the final conclusion. You can still win your disability claims if your attorneys present your case well. If you have any of these impairments then you can appeal for reconsideration for your case through the help of an attorney:
Limitations such as these can signicantly limit your ability to learn new skills or perform sufficient work under substantial gainful activity:
- walk, or
Activities or mental activities, such as using your fingers, bending, stooping, following directions, or getting along with others are considered under non-exertional impairments. Although they are not necessarily physical, they do affect a person’s capabilities sufficiently. If you have a non-exertional impairment that relates to your mental function, the SSA will prepare a mental RFC.
If you are in your 20s, 30s or 40s and think that you deserve to be granted disability benefits for your impairments, you may contact an attorney to help you on the case.