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What’s the SSDI Approval Rate by Age?

Are you applying for SSDI benefits but don’t know if you’ll get approved? Read our guide about SSDI approval rate by age and see your chances of approval.

Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) is a federal-funded financial assistance program for people with disabilities. The Social Security benefit provides an income source to disabled individuals who can’t work due to their medical conditions. 

If you have a disability, you may be eligible for the program. The Social Security Administration (SSA) will determine your eligibility based on several factors. One of these is age. For this reason, claimants wonder about the SSDI approval rate by age.

The SSDI approval rate by age is generally higher for those aged 50 and above. However, there’s more to approval than age. Find out more about the approval rate by age and what other factors can determine your SSDI approval. 

What Age Groups Have the Highest SSDI Approval Rates? What Groups Have the Lowest Approval Rates? 

The SSA recognizes the difficulties of learning new skills and employment with age. For this reason, disabled individuals age 50 and over are twice as likely to be eligible for SSDI benefits relative to their under-50 counterparts. 

By contrast, those under the age of 40 may experience relative difficulty getting SSDI approval. Of course, it’s essential to keep in mind that while age is an important factor for eligibility, there are other eligibility factors the SSA considers, such as medical evidence.

How Has the SSDI Rate Changed Over Time for Different Groups? 

In general, SSDI claims and disability incidences have declined for all age groups. Also, approval rates have gone down significantly over the last two decades. 

According to the SSA Office of Retirement and Disability Policy, the SSDI approval and award rate recently dropped to 29.2%. This figure is 11 percentage points lower than the approval rates seen in 2009.   

What Factors Affect the SSDI Approval Rates for Different Age Groups? 

Besides age, other factors that affect approval rates for different age groups include the severity of your medical conditions and the extent of your disability. Other factors the SSA takes into account are your lifetime average earnings. Receiving other forms of Social Security benefits may also affect your SSDI approval rate — no matter your age. 

How Long Does It Typically Take To Get SSDI Approval for Different Age Groups? 

In general, SSDI applicants across all age groups can expect the SSDI approval process to take anywhere from three to five months. At most, the process can take as long as seven months

Once approved, SSDI beneficiaries can expect their benefits to arrive soon. The exact monthly benefit amounts can vary from one individual to the next. For more on how much claimants can receive, refer to our Social Security benefits pay chart. 

How are Social Security benefits calculated? The SSA does its calculations based on an SSDI applicant’s eligibility factors, lifetime income history, and disability. 

How Does the Application Process Differ for Different Age Groups? 

The SSDI application process is the same for everyone. Nevertheless, the SSA looks at different factors depending on the person’s age. 

For instance, if someone is younger than 50, they might have more difficulty getting approved because the SSA thinks they can still work. 

By contrast, someone between 50 and 60 may have an easier time getting approved. This is because the SSA recognizes it’s harder to find work as people get older. 

If someone is over 60, they might have an even easier time getting approved if they’ve worked for a long time and paid into the program. 

You may be wondering why the government denies Social Security disability benefits. The SSA may deny an application if it deems a claimant capable of working. A claimant who receives several other benefits may also face disqualification from the SSDI program. 

How Do Medical Conditions and Impairments Affect SSDI Approval Rates by Age? 

Some medical conditions and impairments can affect your SSDI approval, particularly if you belong to a specific age group. 

If you are a younger SSDI applicant, your medical condition must be debilitating to the point that it bars you from seeking gainful employment. Your condition must also be well-documented, supported by medical records and statements from a physician. Without documentation, the SSA will likely not approve you for Social Security disability income. A young claimant may also be disqualified if the SSA finds a history of substance or alcohol abuse. 

Middle-aged SSDI applicants with chronic conditions or other disabling medical conditions may be eligible for SSDI benefits. As long as these conditions come with sufficient documentation, there should be no issues qualifying for SSDI. However, like younger applicants, middle-aged claimants may also risk disqualification if they have a history of alcohol or substance abuse. 

Older applicants may have a higher chance of approval. This is because they may have medical conditions that are common among seniors, such as heart disease, diabetes, or cancer. 

If you apply and meet the eligibility requirements like your disability and documentation, the SSA will call you in for your SSDI hearing. The SSDI hearing is the final step in the SSA’s deliberation process, and passing it will entitle you to SSDI benefits. 

Awaiting a decision? Here are the signs you won your SSDI hearing.   

How Do Education and Work Experience Impact SSDI Approval Rates? 

An individual’s education level can affect their ability to find work that accommodates their disability. Those with limited education and training may find it harder to find work that matches their disability. In such cases, the SSA may consider the individual’s education level when evaluating their SSDI eligibility.

Besides education, work history can also have an impact on SSDI approval rates. To qualify for SSDI benefits, an individual must have worked and paid into the SSDI program. The SSA reviews an individual’s work history to determine if they have worked enough to qualify for benefits.

Let’s also consider that an individual’s work history can provide evidence of their disability. For example, any punctuation in history can show how their condition has affected their ability to work.

Key Takeaway: Age Is Important to Your Disability Claim. However, It’s Not the Only Eligibility Factor

As important as age is to your Social Security disability claim, the Social Security Administration will factor in other aspects of your application, like your work history and disability. 

If you’re applying for SSDI benefits right now, the best thing to do is to prove the severity of your disability and show how much it prevents you from working. If you can do this while showing an extensive work history, your chances of SSDI approval will go up—regardless of your age.

How Can Benefits.com Help Me? 

Benefits.com is a free benefit assistance website to help you navigate Social Security Disability applications and find the best benefit plan for you. You can get started on the website by receiving a personalized benefits report and information on assistance programs near you. Assistants through the website are also available on call or through email to answer questions and guide you through the process in a free consultation. Benefits.com helps you find all the information you need to get started and receive the best benefits out of available government programs. 

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