As people age, they become more prone to developing illnesses and other serious medical conditions. Many of these conditions may wind up preventing a person from returning to work, even though, financially, they had planned to retire at age 65 or even later in life.

Just like with Californians of any working age, people over 50 may apply for Social Security disability benefits in order to get financial support if they are unable to do work. While doing so in many respects involves the same process as it would for a worker of any age, the good news is that the Social Security Administration gives some favorable consideration to people over 50 when it reviews their applications for benefits.

How much consideration the SSA will give to a Modesto resident’s age is based on what one could call a sliding scale. People who are close to customary retirement age, that is, over 60, are subject to special rules.

Those who are over 55 get some automatic consideration for their age, while those over 50 will get consideration if they also have a limited work history and are suffering under what the SSA would describe as a severe impairment. In rare cases, people as young as 45 can get consideration for their age when applying for disability.

The point behind this consideration is that it can be very difficult for an older worker to transfer to a suitable alternative job after an illness or injury takes him or her out of the market in his or her current position. Still, people of any age will have to go through an oftentimes complicated and difficult process to obtain disability benefits. It is often advisable to have the help of a professional when applying for these benefits.