A new study was recently published by Mathematica Policy Research. It suggests that the older someone is when they apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), the more apt that they are to have difficulty finding and maintaining employment once their claim is denied. This has many analysts arguing that SSDI eligibility guidelines may be far stricter than they otherwise should be.

The way current SSDI eligibility requirements work is that applicants must have a well-proven and profound medical impairment that both affects their ability to work in their previous position and any other one.

For the purpose of this study, the Mathematica researchers followed a group of adults after being initially rejected for state disability benefits. All of the people that they tracked were at least 50-years-old, had been disabled for more than five months and had made a large enough contribution to the SSDI system that they qualified for benefits.

Of the sample population that the researchers tracked, at least half of them had worked in the years leading up to them applying for benefits. Most were unable to work after that. Although some applicants were close to qualifying for state benefits, most ultimately were denied them on the grounds that the individual could switch to a different line of work.

Many of those same individuals later filed for SSDI before they hit retirement age. Others agreed to take reduced payouts from their pension plan just so they could have income coming in.

This most recent study corroborates earlier insights on the same matter. In the late 1980s, workers who were denied SSDI were studied and found to have reduced incomes and super high poverty rates. Other reports made public in 2011 and 2015 also showed that income and job prospects of disability applicants also declined after their SSDI claims were denied.

Proving that your disability is so severe that you won’t be able to continue working in your chosen profession is one thing. Proving that it’s so severe that you cannot work at all is much more difficult to do. That’s why it’s best to allow a Trenton attorney to handle all the steps to ensure that you have the best chance of getting your claim approved.