As important as it is to have money stashed away for old age, not everyone is fortunate enough to have that opportunity. And if you live with a disability, lack of savings can make it even more challenging to make ends meet. If you are over the age of 65 and need disability benefits, here is some information to help you out.
Meeting the Requirements to Qualify
To qualify for disability benefits, you will have to show that you have a qualifying disability or a similar one as listed in the Social Security Administration’s “Blue Book.” This book contains a list of conditions that can automatically qualify an individual for disability benefits.
Even if you don’t qualify, if your impairment is similar to the one that is listed, you might still be eligible for some benefits. However, keep in mind that your education and work history will be considered to determine if you can do other types of jobs that aren’t affected by your disability.
Qualifying for Benefits When You’re Over 65
Meeting the qualifications for disability when you are over 65 can be slightly different as your age is considered. Although you might not have an obvious disability such as paralysis or be legally blind, your age can be a debilitating factor. For instance, a claims examiner will typically consider the following impairments to determine if your disability is age-related:
- A decrease in physical strength
- Poor eyesight
- Loss of memory
- Impaired hearing
- High blood pressure.
Why Your Age Is Important
When determining a person’s eligibility, the length of time they will be disabled must be for at least one year. Because age-related impairments typically only worsen with time, this is a crucial thing to consider when accepting an individual for benefits.
You should be prepared to answer questions about your daily life and explain the limitations you experience. If you have trouble remembering things or have problems with your vision, you should make sure you do not keep this information secret. Impairments, even if they are age-related, must be taken into account when determining your eligibility.
How To Receive Benefits When You Have Income
While many older people receive an income, many do not make enough to cover their full living costs. If you are over the age of 65 but have a limited income source, you might be able to get supplemental security insurance (more details in the link).
Even if you already receive disability benefits, if the amount you receive is below a certain amount, you might be eligible for SSI as well.
When determining your eligibility based on age, the SSA will consider several different factors before they approve you for benefits. If you are past the age of 65 and do not meet the impairment requirements, they may determine that you can work, just in a less demanding position.
However, if your educational background and work experience are limited, social security might determine that you aren’t skilled enough to perform any other type of work.
There is so much that goes into making a decision on disability benefits eligibility when you are qualifying based on your age. One reason is that this isn’t as clear cut as someone having an obvious physical disability, so more factors must be considered.
The SSA may try to find every reason you can still work, so you must be very detailed when describing your condition. Even the type of work you’ve done throughout your life can determine your ability to work in your golden years, so keep this in mind as well.