Approaching Retirement 2024 SSDIMany people of working age in the United States may be eligible for Social Security benefits. Individuals in their 60s applying for disability benefits in 2024 may share many of the same cultural touchpoints from their youth. They may have watched the same shows and movies or listened to the same music. And their age can impact the likelihood their SSDI application will be approved.

Closely Approaching Retirement Age in 2024

People with a wide range of disabilities may apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). This can include chronic physical ailments, like leukemia, or mental conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The Social Security Administration (SSA) treats claims differently depending on the age of the applicant. The three major age groups are:

  • People closely approaching advanced age (50 to 54 years old)
  • People of advanced age (55 to 59 years old)
  • People closely approaching retirement (60 to 64 years old)

Even if they present the same symptoms, younger applicants are more likely to face denial than their older counterparts. This includes everyone from the ages of 18 to 49. That’s because, as they get older, workers are less likely to upgrade their education or switch careers. They are less likely to pivot to a different profession

The SSA gives more leeway to SSDI applicants aged 60 and above. This is based on what the SSA calls its medical-vocational grid. It factors for age, education, and relevant work experience in evaluating SSDI claims. People who are turning 60 years old in 2024 were born in 1964. Those turning 64 years old in 2024 were born in 1960. 

TV Shows From Your Childhood

This cohort of people “closely approaching retirement” were born between 1960 and 1964. They may share some cultural touchpoints with people in their late 50s. At the same time, people in their early 60s have childhood memories all their own too, including some of these popular television shows. These shows aired from the mid-1970s to the early 1980s.

  • All in the Family (1971-1979)
  • The Bob Newhart Show (1972-1978)
  • The Dukes of Hazzard (1979-1985)
  • Happy Days (1974-1984)
  • The Jeffersons (1975-1985)
  • Laverne & Shirley (1976-1983)
  • Little House on the Prairie (1974-1983)
  • M*A*S*H (1972-1983)
  • Mork & Mindy (1978-1982)
  • The Muppet Show (1974-1981)
  • The Six Million Dollar Man (1973-1978)
  • Three’s Company (1977-1984)

Top Movies From Your Teenage Years

From small-screen programming from their childhood, people in their early 60s in 2024 may remember some popular movies they watched as teenagers. If you are turning 60 years old this year, you may have watched some of these films from the late 1970s and into the early 1980s. 

  • Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977)
  • Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)
  • Grease (1978)
  • Halloween (1978)
  • Superman: The Movie (1978)
  • Mad Max (1979)
  • The Warriors (1979)
  • The Shining (1980)
  • Raging Bull (1980)
  • Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
  • Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982)
  • First Blood (1982)

Songs From Your High School Prom

Progressing through teenage years that may have been equally enjoyable and embarrassing, people in their 60s today might remember some songs from their senior prom in high school. Whether it was getting down and funky with their best pals or cuddling up close with their high school sweetheart, these are the songs that may have played over the speakers in the school gymnasium. 

  1. "Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen (1975)
  2. “Love Will Keep Us Together” by Captain & Tennille (1975)
  3. “Silly Love Songs” by Wings (1976)
  4. “Play That Funky Music” by Wild Cherry (1976)
  5. “Dancing Queen” by ABBA (1977)
  6. "Staying Alive" by Bee Gees (1978)
  7. “Three Times a Lady” by Commodores (1978)
  8. “In the Navy” by Village People (1979)
  9. “Disco Nights” by GQ (1979)
  10. “Call Me” by Blondie (1980)
  11. “Funkytown” by Lipps Inc (1980)
  12. "Celebration" by Kool & The Gang (1980)

Major SSDI Eligibility Factors

The Social Security Administration (SSA) will not approve every disability application. In fact, the SSA initially denies most claims. Many of these denials are due to technical reasons, like missing paperwork or lack of evidence to prove you are unable to work. 

To qualify for disability benefits, consider some of these important questions:

  • Do you have enough work credits?
  • Is your disability listed in the SSA Blue Book?
  • Is your condition expected to last at least 12 months?
  • Do you need a physical or mental residual functional capacity (RFC) assessment?
  • Does your disability prevent you from being able to work?
  • What relevant work experience and education do you have?
  • Are you able to perform other types of work?

If you’ve been working most of your adult life, chances are that you have earned enough work credits to be eligible for SSDI. Work experience and education may become less relevant as you get older, as the SSA may not expect you to pivot careers. Rather, one of the bigger sticking points in an SSDI application is establishing the severity of your disability.

The most straightforward approach is if you meet the Blue Book listing for a qualifying disability. Barring that, you may need to undergo an RFC assessment to determine your physical and mental capacity to work. Referring to the medical-vocational grid rules for people closely approaching retirement age, the SSA will make a determination on your SSDI claim. 

If approved, you will continue to receive disability benefits until you reach full retirement age. This assumes your disability continues to prevent you from working. When you retire, your SSDI benefits will convert to retirement benefits. 

Get Your Social Security Disability Application Approved

Applying for Social Security disability can seem daunting at first. You may not understand all the requirements, and there can be a lot of paperwork involved. It is crucial to present a compelling case to the SSA if you’d like them to approve your claim. This is especially true as the SSA tends to deny most applications the first time around.

One of the best ways to increase your chances for approval is to work with a skilled SSD lawyer like John Keefe or Patrick Hartwig. We will help you complete your application accurately. When you work with Keefe Disability Law, we ensure you don’t miss any deadlines. We also help you gather the medical evidence to best support your claim. This can involve working with doctors and other professionals to best justify your SSDI application.

Together, let’s get the disability benefits you deserve and need.

Patrick Hartwig
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Managing Attorney, Keefe Disability Law
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