If someone told you that they were between the ages of 18 and 25, you'd probably consider them fairly capable of working. You might even say that they are in their prime working age and quite able to hold down a job and earn an income.
Would your impression change though if they told you that they were disabled? If you're like a lot of people here in New Jersey, chances are good that you might think differently about that individual. You might even consider them eligible for disability benefits despite the fact that they are in the prime of their life, so to speak.
Just as many before you have realized, we do a disservice to those with disabilities if we solely focus on their age and the earning potential they could have because of their age group. That's because, as so many of our West Caldwell readers already know, people with disabilities may not be able to work in every case. They may be unable to earn an income like the rest of society, which creates a precarious financial situation for these individuals and their families.
But it's not just our readers that may recognize this disserve. In fact, it's one the Social Security Administration pointed out several years ago when it released a policy interpretation ruling regarding rule interpretations for adults between the ages of 18 and 25. Like some of our readers, the Administration acknowledged that age should not play a factor in determining eligibility for benefits but rather the extent of a person's disability.
This meant and still means that if a person meets the SSA definition of a disability and their condition is severe enough to prevent them from maintaining or securing employment, then they should be able to apply for and receive disability benefits, regardless of their age.
Although this is something we pointed out in one of our articles, we felt it was worth noting again on our blog. That's because the SSA ruling still stands to this day. Our readers may need to keep this in mind, especially if they believe that their age could impact their ability to seek disability benefits down the road.