SSA Tries to Bar Older Workers From Receiving SSDI Benefits
Many Americans are eligible to receive Social Security Disability benefits if they are disabled and unable to work. However, the process to get these benefits is not exactly easy. Many people are denied for various reasons. Others face many months and even years of delays.
Unfortunately, the process could get even harder for many Americans. In early December, the Social Security Administration (SSA) sent the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) a proposal that would make it harder for older workers to receive Social Security benefits. This proposal could affect up to 500,000 Americans. While President Donald Trump would likely approve the proposal, Congress or the Biden administration would likely undo or overrule the regulation.
By law, SSA is required to consider various factors when determining whether or not a person is disabled under the definition set forth by the agency. One of these factors is age. The current rules acknowledge that workers in their 50s and beyond will have more difficulty finding suitable work after suffering a serious disability. Under the new regulation, it would be much harder for older workers to qualify.
However, it’s possible that the SSA will come up with many excuses as to why these older Americans will be denied benefits. One possible explanation is that today’s economy offers a variety of jobs that a disabled older worker can do — many more jobs than there were available 20-30 years ago. After all, more and more people are working from home. Surely a disabled older person could use their computer to make money — but only if they have a computer and the appropriate skill level to use one.
If the SSA denies a claim, it must cite possible occupations the applicant could do. These occupations are found in a book that hasn’t been updated since the 1970s.
However, SSDI applicants tend to have severe health problems. Even those denied SSDI have physical limitations and often have earnings of less than $100 a month. A person denied SSDI is likely still not able to work in some capacity, so how is that helping the economy?
It’s not. In fact, it’s doing the opposite. It is promoting inequality in the United States, with many of those who are denied SSDI benefits African Americans and/or those living in poverty.
Discriminating against older Americans isn’t the answer. It is hopeful that the incoming Biden administration will help SSA make appropriate changes and improve the way it manages its programs.
Learn More About Social Security Disability Benefits
Social Security Disability benefits are hard to qualify for, and the process could get even harder for older Americans. Make sure you have the resources you need to get the benefits you deserve.
White Plains Social Security disability lawyer Michael Lawrence Varon can guide you through the process. Filling out an application for the first time? Have you been denied? We can help with an appeal. Don’t give up. Contact our office today by calling 914-294-2145 or filling out the online form.