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SSDI applied but court said 48 years was too young

Can I win SSDI if I am young?


Everyday thousands of applicants are denied Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. Many of them feel that they are disabled and cannot continue to work. Recently on our disability forum we had a claimant who was denied SSDI by the Administrative court because they believed the claimant was too young to win benefits. This blog will address how the claimant can appeal their case and potentially win benefits on appeal.


Court denied benefits due to young age


To win Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) claimants must prove they have a severe health condition, their condition will last at least 12 continuous months and it will not allow them to perform substantial gainful activity.

Assuming your condition is long-term and severe there are two ways to prove you cannot perform work. First you can prove you have a condition on the SSA Listing of Impairments or Blue Book (a list of conditions and symptoms the SSA considers automatically disabling). If your condition is meets a listing you will be approved for SSDI immediately.

If your condition is not on the list you will have to prove you do not have the ability to continue to work. This is done through a medical vocational allowance.

Younger claimants will have difficulty winning SSDI through a medical vocational allowance


Assuming you do not have a condition which meets a listing on the SSA Blue Book, the SSA will use medical vocational guidelines to determine if you can work. These charts or “grids” will evaluate a variety of factors including include your age, work skills, education, and your residual functional capacity to work.

There are age categories within the grids. For instance, “18 to 44 are considered young individuals, those 45-49 are "younger" individuals, those 50-54 are considered to be closely approaching advanced age, individuals who are 55 and over are considered advanced age, and individuals 60-65 are considered closely approaching retirement age.”

The medical vocational grid is most helpful to applicants who are approaching advanced age (ages 50-54) or who are over the age of 55. Why? Because the SSA will assume it will be nearly impossible for some older workers who have worked unskilled, heavy labor jobs for the majority of their lives to retrain for a sedentary job. But unfortunately for claimants less than 50 it can be almost impossible to win benefits through a medical vocational allowance.

How do I win benefits below the age of 55?


The best way to win SSDI benefits if you are young is to make sure you meet a listing. Some claimants may be denied SSDI not because they are not disabled but because their medical evidence is not thorough enough to prove they are disabled.

If you have been denied it may be time to review your medical evidence, or a hire a lawyer to help, and find out what information you need to prove you are disable.

Remember, you have 60 days from the date of the denial to file an appeal. The first appeal is generally a reconsideration and allows another disability examiner to review your case to decide a second time if you are disabled.

If you are considering an appeal and believe you were denied due to insufficient medical evidence talk to a disability lawyer for information about how to submit new evidence to your disability file to increase your chances of approval
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