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How Age Affects Your SSDI Applications

When applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs, your age, along with other factors, can determine which benefits you are eligible for.

Age, in particular, plays an significant factor. Age can affect your chances of getting accepted or approved for benefits. Generally speaking, applicants over the age of 50 are more likely to succeed in their application than younger ones.

It wouldn’t be accurate though to say that younger applicants are guaranteed to be denied for benefits. There are more nuances for younger applicants, usually this involves the specifics of their situation and how it fits into the different Social Security programs.

Additionally, age plays a role as older individuals are less likely to be able to develop new skills or gain more education to rejoin the workforce. It is for this reason that Social Security carefully takes into account applicants’ ages in reference to their skills and education. This is reflected in the medical-vocational-grid that Social Security uses when determining disability.

For applicants of a more advanced age, they’re separated further as follows: Applicants aged 50 to 54 years old are approaching advanced age, those aged 55 to 59 years old are advanced age, and those aged 60 to 65 are approaching retirement age.

Adults Aged 18 Or Older Applying For The SSDI

If you are over the age of 18, the default process of applying for SSDI benefits usually begins with reviewing the Adult Disability Checklist provided by Social Security on their website. This is meant to serve as a guide for the information that you will be required to supply during your application.

You are also only able to file your application online if you are 18 years old or older.

Falling under this category also means that you are evaluated for disability as an adult, and it is recommended that you complete an Adult Disability Report when applying.

Children Under The Age Of 18

Children under the age of 18 automatically receive benefits as a dependent and are not evaluated for their disability when deciding so. These benefits stop when the child reaches the age of 18 unless they are a full-time student in elementary or high school. If they are, the benefits continue until the age of 19. They may also continue receiving benefits if they have a qualifying disability.

Children in this category are required to have some information and documents just like any other applicants. Firstly, they or their parents are to provide records of the child’s disability through a Child Disability Report. The SSDI benefits may also be applied via the child’s or the parent’s earnings. In such a case, the parent’s Social Security number is required. Lastly, the child’s Social Security and birth certificate are also needed.

Adults With A Disability That Began Before The Age Of 22

Adults who have disabilities that began before the age of 22 are possibly eligible for benefits if their parent is deceased, or receiving retirement or disability benefits. This is still considered a child’s benefit because it is paid on a parent’s Social Security earnings record rather than their own.

Adults under this category are considered Disabled Adult Child (DAC) and must be:

  • Unmarried,
  • 18 years of age or older,
  • Have a qualifying disability that started before the age of 22, and
  • Meeting the definition of disability for adults.

DACs, unlike the usual SSDI applicants, are also not required to have worked before because the benefits are based on their parent’s earning record. The DAC must also not have substantial earnings. The definition of a substantial earning changes every year, but for the year 2022, it is set at $ 1,350 a month or $ 2,260 if you’re blind. There are also certain expenses that are excluded when computing these earnings which can be reviewed here.

When deciding whether or not children over the age of 18 are considered disabled, it is referred to the Disability Determination Services (DDS) in the applicant’s state.

A DAC beneficiary may have their benefits end should they get married unless they are married to another DAC.

For more information on your SSDI applications, visit DisabilityHelp’s article on Signs of a Good SSDI Hearing!

Zoey Appleton
Zoey has worked with Cheri for years and has been creating the best articles not only for Disability Help but for our readers. Her job hits close to home for she has a brother with special needs. She hopes to see science and technology pave the way for a better life, with Disability Help to cover it and share it with those that need it.
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