SSDI Approval Rate by Age: What You Need to Know and How to Improve Your Application

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a program that provides monthly income to workers who have a severe and long-lasting medical impairment. However, getting approved for SSDI benefits is not easy.

According to a survey by DisabilitySecrets, only 42% of applicants were ultimately approved for benefits.

So, how can you increase your odds of getting SSDI benefits? Does your age matter? What are the best strategies to follow? In this article, we will answer these questions and more.

We will also share some tips and tricks from social media users who have successfully applied for SSDI benefits.

A picture showing an old couple carrying their grandchildren | Photo courtesy:
Your age plays a role in determining your eligibility and approval rate, but it is not the only factor | Photo courtesy:

How Age Affects Your SSDI Approval Rate

One of the factors that affects your chances of getting SSDI benefits is your age. The older you are, the more likely you are to qualify for SSDI benefits.

This is because the Social Security Administration (SSA) considers age as a factor in determining your ability to adjust to other work.

The SSA uses a set of rules called the Medical-Vocational Guidelines, or the Grids, to evaluate your claim based on your age, education, work experience, and residual functional capacity (RFC). The RFC is an assessment of what you can still do despite your impairment.

The Grids divide applicants into four age categories:

  1. younger than 50
  2. 50-54
  3. 55-59
  4. 60 or older
A picture showing a graph of the disability rates with age trend | Photo courtesy: CBPP
Photo courtesy: CBPP

The older you are, the less demanding the Grids are in terms of finding other work that you can do. For example, if you are 55 or older and have a limited education and no transferable skills, you may be found disabled even if you can still perform sedentary work.

However, this does not mean that younger applicants have no chance of getting SSDI benefits. It just means that they have to meet stricter criteria and provide more evidence of their impairment and its impact on their work ability.

Tips and Tricks to Improve Your SSDI Application

Regardless of your age, there are some things that you can do to improve your SSDI application and increase your chances of approval. Here are some tips and tricks:

  • Apply as soon as possible: The sooner you apply, the sooner you can get a decision and start receiving benefits. Also, applying early can prevent you from losing eligibility due to the expiration of your work credits.
  • Hire a disability lawyer: A disability lawyer can help you with every step of the application process, from filling out forms to gathering medical records to appealing denials. According to DisabilitySecrets, hiring a lawyer can dramatically improve your odds of being approved.
  • Be consistent and honest: Make sure that your application and statements are consistent with your medical records and other evidence. Do not exaggerate or downplay your symptoms or limitations. Be honest and accurate about how your impairment affects your daily life and work ability.
  • Follow your doctor’s orders: Your doctor’s opinion is very important for your SSDI claim. The SSA will look at whether you are following your prescribed treatment and how it affects your condition. If you fail to follow your doctor’s orders without a good reason, the SSA may deny your claim or reduce your benefits.
  • Keep track of your records and deadlines: It is essential that you keep copies of all your medical records, application forms, correspondence, and other documents related to your SSDI claim. You should also keep track of the deadlines for submitting evidence, responding to requests, and appealing decisions. Missing a deadline can result in a delay or denial of your claim.
  • Seek support from others: Applying for SSDI benefits can be stressful and frustrating. You may face multiple denials, long waits, and complex procedures. It can help to seek support from others who have gone through the same process or who understand what you are going through. You can join online forums, groups, or communities where you can share your experiences, ask questions, get advice, or vent your frustrations.

RELATED SEARCHES: Social Security Disability Requirements: What You Need to Know


Getting SSDI benefits is not impossible, but it is challenging.

Your age plays a role in determining your eligibility and approval rate, but it is not the only factor.

You can improve your chances of getting SSDI benefits by following some tips and tricks that we shared in this article.

We hope that this article has been helpful and informative for you. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below.

If you enjoyed this article and want to learn more about the SSDI Claim, don’t forget to check out our website for more interesting and informative content.

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