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THE SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY BLOG

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P: 828-252-2852

Will My Age Be a Factor in Determining My Social Security Disability Claim?

Yes. Our society places great emphasis on the appearance and attributes of youth. However, when it comes to determining a Social Security Disability claim, youth can be a disadvantage. The younger you are, the more difficulty you may have in being approved for Social Security Disability benefits.

Your age, in combination with other considerations, such as residual functional capacity, education, skills, and work experience, are factors that the Social Security Administration will consider in determining whether you are disabled. They will also consider not only whether you are able to perform your prior work, but whether you can adjust to less demanding work – even if it means earning substantially less wages.

The Social Security Administration has established age categories and vocational guidelines that are used in determining whether or not an individual is disabled. While a very slight consideration is given to claimants between the ages of 44 to 49, Social Security law establishes a presumption that anyone less than 50 years old has the ability to undergo vocational retraining and adapt to other work. The burden of proving disability begins to decrease beginning at age 50. The public policy behind this rule is that claimants over age 50 will have significantly more difficulty relocating, returning to school, changing employment or careers, and learning new job skills than younger claimants with similar impairments. Anyone under age 50 should absolutely employ an experienced and competent Social Security Disability attorney advocating on your behalf.

If you are age 50 to 54, the Social Security Administration will consider that your age along with severe impairments and limited work experience would likely seriously affect your ability to adjust and retrain for other types of work. If you are 55 or older, the Social Security Administration will presume that your age will significantly affect your ability to make adjustments to other work. If you are 60 or older, these presumptions are even stronger. Another very important factor in proving disability at various ages is the physical exertion and skill levels you need to perform your past jobs. A very strong general rule of thumb is that the older you are, the lower the burden of proof you must meet to establish disability under Social Security guidelines.

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FREQUENTLY ASKED SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY QUESTIONS

Q. What is an Administrative Law Judge Social Security Hearing?

A. Social Security hearings are held by a judge called an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). The hearings are relatively informal and have no District Attorney or U.S. Attorney present representing Social Security. Some ALJs will ask questions, some will let your lawyer ask all the questions. All you should do is tell the ALJ what is wrong with you and why you are unable to return to work. The ALJ will hear all the evidence and make a decision based on your medical records and testimony heard at the hearing. Sometimes the ALJ will request a Vocational or Medical Expert to testify regarding hypothetical circumstances regarding your condition(s). Your lawyer should help you understand the issues, expected testimony and procedure.

Q. When can I expect a Social Security Hearing?

A. There are a large number of Social Security Appeals and it is often many months before each level of an appeal is decided. You are generally given four to six (4- 6) weeks notice before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) hearing and you will be expected to attend that hearing unless you have an extraordinary reason why you cannot attend. The exact number of months between appeals varies from case to case and there is little that can be done by you or your lawyer to speed up the process due to the huge backlog of cases waiting for a hearing. Once a hearing is held, the ALJ will render a decision within a few months of the hearing.

Q. When can I expect a hearing on my claim?

Due to the large number of appeals in Social Security cases, it is often many months before each level of an appeal is decided. You are generally given several months notice prior to a hearing before an ALJ and you will be expected to attend that hearing unless you have an extraordinary reason why you cannot attend. The exact number of months between appeals varies from time to time and there is little that can be done by you or your lawyer to speed up the process in light of the huge backlog of cases waiting for a hearing. Once a hearing is held, the ALJ should render a favorable or unfavorable decision within ninety (90) days of the hearing.

Q. Why won’t Social Security pay for my disability without an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Hearing?

A. A very small number of applicants are awarded benefits in North Carolina before the ALJ hearing. Social Security (SS) decisions and opinions prior to the ALJ hearing are generally made by people who have never seen or talked to you. Many SS doctors will give opinions on your physical condition without the benefit of an actual exam. It is extremely important for you to maintain a good relationship with your treating doctor and to fully explain the reasons you are applying for Social Security. If you are persistent and have evidence of your medical disability, you will get your disability benefits.

Q. What happens if I try to work when I am receiving Social Security benefits?

A. Social Security law requires that you report any income or benefits while you are receiving checks. You cannot work and be disabled at the same time. However, Social Security law permits you to make some efforts to work without jeopardizing your eligibility. If you fail to report any earnings made while trying to work, your Social Security check could be terminated. The law on making work attempts is complicated and changes on a regular basis. You should consult a qualified lawyer before deciding how you approach this issue.

Q. How do lawyers get paid for handling SS disability cases?

A. Most attorneys charge a contingent fee which is the lesser of $5300 or 25% percent of your back benefits. A contingent fee means that if your claim is denied, no attorneys fees are owed. The Administrative Law Judge must review and approve employment agreements before any legal fees can be charged. Most lawyers will advance the expenses of a claim with the understanding that these costs will be recovered when the claim is approved.

SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY VIDEOS

Our Video Library is not closed-captioned.  Instead of embedding our videos, we have created posts for them, where full transcripts of can be found. Click on the links below to view the video and its transcript.

Social Security Detail

Social Security – Detail

Social Security part 4

Social Security Part 4

Social Security part 3

Social Security Part 3

Social Security part 2

Social Security Part 2

Social Security part 1

Social Security Part 1

Rules Regarding Social Security Disability and Your Employment

Rules Regarding Social Security Disability and Your Employment

Social Security Hearing Timeframe

Resolution of Social Security Disability Cases: A Timeframe Overview

Contemporaneous Workers’ Compensation and Social Security Disability Claims

Contemporaneous Workers’ Compensation and Social Security Disability Benefit

Working While on Social Security

Social Security Disability and Your Employment

Appealing Social Security Denials

Appealing the Denial of Your Social Security Disability Claim

Work History Requirements

Work History Requirements for Social Security Disability

Drug and Alcohol Dependency and Social Security Disability

Drug and Alcohol Dependency and Social Security Disability

Child Eligibility for Social Security

Child Eligibility for Social Security Benefits and Social Security Insurance

The Administrative Law Judge’s Role in Social Security Disability

The Administrative Law Judge’s Role in the Social Security Appellate Hearing

Compassionate North Carolina Social Security Disability Lawyer

David Gantt describes his History in Helping People with Workers’ Compensation and Social Security Disability Cases

~ What Our Clients Say ~

Yelp Review 2019

December 19, 2019

David Gantt and his staff were excellent very informative, kept me updated on every move and with this dedication I was able to win my Social Security hearing. Highly Recommend.

November 2019 AVVO Review

November 27, 2019

Amazing! When my husband was injured, we didn’t know who to turn to. I started googling to find a attorney, I called Mr. Gantt, I couldn’t be more thankful! The nightmare was over as Mr. Gantt and his amazing team handled everything from that very moment! Not only was professional but extremely caring, taking time…

November 2019 AVVO Review

November 27, 2019

David Gantt and his staff handled my disability claim and they were excellent. I highly recommend him, he is the best in Western North Carolina. Mrs. Kelly Reaves 5.0 stars November 5, 2019

October 2019 Martindale Hubble Review

October 29, 2019

David is clear, precise, and delivers as promises.

2019 Google Review

August 7, 2019

The entire staff were welcoming, knowledgeable, helpful, and nice people! David was professional. He knew exactly what he was talking about and did what he said he was going to do. I have had a wonderful experience with this firm and will not hesitate to use them in the future.

2019 AVVO Review “Get ‘er done Gantt!”

July 10, 2019

I was very satisfied with David Gantt’s expertise and knowledge in all aspects handling my case. He dealt with all the paperwork and contacted all necessary providers to get my medical history – it was extremely hassle free! He communicated and counseled me on what to expect – being very forthcoming (he’s a straight shooter)!…

2019 Facebook review

June 5, 2019

I highly recommend Mr. Gantt. He is very kind and always professional. He prepared me for my disability hearing and calmed my nerves. Everything happened exactly as he said it would. I honestly do not think that I would have been approved for disability without his help. Also, his office staff were always ready to…

2019 Google Review

May 28, 2019

Mr. Gantt took good care of me. I will be forever grateful for him getting me the social security payments I need for a disability due to military service. He seems like a genuine compassionate good man. I highly recommend! ~C.M.

2019 Google Review

May 10, 2019

David and his entire staff are so nice and show compassion to everybody. He was there when I had any questions. David Gantt is the best attorney in his field, he goes above and beyond. I am extremely grateful to him and his staff. ~M.H.

2019 Google Review

May 9, 2019

Very nice and friendly service. They always answered any of my questions. Had a great experience working with them on my disability case. I highly recommend there services! After trying for 6 years and 2 unfavorable decisions, David and his team did a great job representing my case and won. I appreciate there time and…

2019 Google Review

May 9, 2019

The whole office is very respectful. Answered all my questions. So Glad they were there cause I had no clue after fighting for 2 years. Thank you guys soo much. ~K.H.

2019 Google Review

May 9, 2019

I am very grateful to David Gantt & his staff! They were wonderful and made the confusing process much easier to understand. I wish I had contacted them sooner. They were super to work with and such nice people! Thank you so much! ~K.S.

Avvo Review 2019

May 7, 2019

Mr. Gantt is a highly compassionate and professional lawyer. He worked hard for me to show my disabilities. Always pleasant and supportive, while being very much on top of his cases. I recommend David Gantt to anyone. Great Attorney! 5 Stars. ~ Dakota

Google Review 2019

April 10, 2019

Wonderful client services..very friendly and willing to go the extra mile to help clients. highly recommend him for anyone needing assistance for the Disability SSI. ~T.D.

2019 Google Review

April 9, 2019

I am so grateful to Mr. Gantt & his staff. They have been so professional and knowledgeable. They’ve answered all of my questions and made a very stressful situation, bearable. I would not hesitate to recommend Mr. Gantt. He is knowledgeable, professional & caring. ~J.H.

Avvo Review 2019

April 8, 2019

Linda Calloway Mundy David Gantt is an outstanding Lawyer. I highly recommend him. He was beside me all the way and I would like to thank him. ~Linda 5 Stars

2019 Google Review

March 9, 2019

David Gantt and his staff are very professional, upfront, honest and nice. They made me feel at ease discussing my case. They helped me with every step of the way towards my disability approval. I would recommend them to anyone. They kept me updated on everything. Just wish I had contacted them sooner. ~D.P.S.

2019 Google Review

February 10, 2019

When I applied for Social Security Disability I saw no reason that I would need a lawyer since my case seemed clear. It wasn’t until the second rejection that I realized that I had no idea how the system worked. A couple of local lawyers I had contacted suggested that I talked to David Gantt…

2019 Google Review

February 10, 2019

This office is fantastic. The staff is helpful and friendly. He is honest with you about the pros and cons of your case. He works hard to get a positive result. ~S.G.

Martindale Review 2019

January 21, 2019

5.0/5.0 in Social Security. David was very professional, pleasant and focused on me and my situation while I was in his office. He did not allow interruptions. His office staff was helpful and readily available when I had questions.