Am I Too Young to Receive Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits?
Q: I went to apply for Disability benefits and was told I was “too young.” I am 45 years old and have worked in construction most of my life. I have had two back surgeries and my doctor says I will never be able to return to construction work. I don’t have the education or training for other work. I thought Social Security Disability would cover me or anyone who cannot go back to work.
A: Anyone who has worked long enough can apply for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits. If you have applied and been denied, file an appeal and ask that the Social Security Administration (SSA) reconsider its denial. You can get assistance with your appeal if necessary. Appeals have strict deadlines, so act promptly. The Social Security disability insurance program is designed to assist anyone who, because of injury or illness, is unable to return to work. The program is based on Federal Law which requires the SSA to consider medical considerations and opinions, as well as your age, education, and work experience. SSA regulations state that an individual under age 50 who can return to some other kind of work will be found not disabled. That same individual who is over 50 may be considered disabled. It depends on the person’s ability to adapt to other kinds of less demanding work. In addition to filing an appeal, you can contact the Oregon State Employment Department or the Vocational Rehabilitation Division and see if they can provide retraining or return to work help.