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Richard A. Gutstadt, P.C.
Northern California SSI & SSDI Appeals
510-992-6934

What factors are considered when I apply for disability benefits?

There are many factors that Social Security Administration (SSA) reviewers take into account when reviewing disability applicants' files. Your work experience, educational background and age are some of the many factors that these reviewers take into account.

It's a reviewer's job to determine how your disability impacts your ability to work. Reviewers will take into account your aptitude for taking on a job in another field. That individual will take into account your age and education when assessing this.

Reviewers also look at your education when determining how to best handle your application for disability benefits. While it does matter how much formal education experience you have, your participation in on-the-job training opportunities may make up for your lack of traditional academic pursuits. It's not uncommon for SSA reviewers to determine that an applicant with limited formal education is literate and skilled enough to take on a new job role.

The SSA takes an individual's age into account when making disability award decisions. They do this because they argue that the older someone is, the more difficulty that they are likely to have in adjusting to a new work role.

Reviewers are taught to start taking into account a person's age starting at 45. It's not until someone starts approaching what the SSA refers to as "advanced age" at between 50 and 54 that the federal agency starts taking into account how a person's age and the severity of their impairment may together adversely impact their ability to adjust to a new work role though.

The SSA refers to anyone 55 or older as someone of advanced age. Individuals who are 60 or are above are thought to be nearing retirement age. The federal agency is even more cognizant of a worker's ability to adapt to a new role the older an applicant is.

Many individuals think that that they need only to focus on documenting the severity of their impairment when applying for Social Security Disability (SSD). It's just as important to highlight your age, your academic experience and other factors that may impact your job performance as well though. An attorney can identify ways for you to call your reviewer's attention to these details when reviewing your application for benefits here in Oakland or any other part of California.

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