Apr 22, 2015

Why Age Matters

     I keep seeing comments posted here saying, basically, that it's an outrage that Social Security pays disability benefits to people it knows can work just because they're over 50. This is based upon the fact that if a person is 50 or older, can no longer do work they've done in the past due to their medical condition and are limited to sedentary work, it may be possible to get Social Security disability benefits based upon the "grid regulations."
     The person or persons posting this miss some important points. To qualify for this treatment, you have to be unable to do any job you've done in the last 15 years and you must lack transferrable skills to sedentary work. But, it's still an outrage that Social Security pays disability benefits to people it knows can work? No, they really can't work. The Social Security Act requires the consideration of age, education and work experience in determining disability. Age has been given a prominent place in the consideration of disability because as people age they become less adaptable. When you're 25, making a transition to some entirely different type of work isn't so difficult. At age 50, it may be impossible. So, no, those people really can't work because they can't realistically make the transition to completely different lines of work. If this makes no sense to you, it's probably because you're younger. Wait a few years. If you're lucky, you'll get older and you'll have no difficulty understanding. There aren't any advances in medicine or rehabilitation or anything else that's likely to change this because it's hard-wired into the human aging process.

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

My grandma was bored at being a stay at home widow, and went back to work at age 80, working the cashier at a bakery in a grocery store. A job completely unrelated to her PRW working in a warehouse.

Give me a break that people age 50 can't go back to unskilled work.

Anonymous said...

Your Grandma went back to work 5 days a week, 40 hours a day working as a bakery cashier? Or did she get a small part time job to keep her active?

Sure it wasn't a family business or a small town friendly store that made allowances for her?

Or maybe she had some type of relationship with a manager there? Really?

I think you are full of it. Secondly, it appears that your Grandma was in excellent health.

My father worked until he was 74 in a job that required heavy exertion.

HOWEVER, it was for a longtime employer and the the younger workers often helped him out.

He was not in excellent health but still had to be enticed to retire.

That being said, however, I would never say that people over 50 (which I am and I work 8/5/40) in general could perform any type of significantly exertional work (or even sed/light work)8/5/40 if they have serious health problems and do not have special accommodations made for them.

Taking what is clearly an unusual situation and not providing all of the details, only weakens your argument.

NB for Charles, the new image verification system is kind of crazy, none of the images are exact matches but the instructions don't make it clear that it is not the entire image that is being sought. Then the session "expires"!

Lance Koontz said...

Here Here.....

Nobody employer in thier right mind would hire anybody 80 years old any ole' way.

The thought of elderly people vapor locking on the job or getting seriously injured would give any employer pause.

The employer could not afford the
WC Premiums.

I can hear the ambulance chasing lawywer already.......


Where's the husband is all of this ?

Who wears the pance in that family any ole' way.

If a husband was half a man he would forbade his 80 year wife from working.

Most people retire when they are
66.Matter of fact a lot of people start having health issues and others are dead already.

Leave old dogs lay and let them collect thier SS.
I have no intentions in working till i am seventy.


You're too old gramps.......
Work ethic means SUCKER.....


Anonymous said...

Wait, what about our senior citizens that are working as greeters at WalMart? They are working at least 20 hours a week. I though the new middle age was 50. The GRIDS are outdated and need to be raised by 10 years or canned totally. I saw pictures from the 1920's to 1940's the other day. If you didn't work, you didn't eat. If you couldn't do medium exertional work, you HAD to FIND a sedentary job you could do. Somehow America got through it, however, that was before we were a hyphenated America. 40% of welfare payments go to 14% of the population...

Anonymous said...

Welcome to the new Social Security Facebook. #eyeroll

Anonymous said...

9:00 Sounds a little racist to me, plus you want to romanticize the living conditions of the average citizen of the 20's, 30 's, and 40 's, before the war economy? Why don't you go edumacate yourself so that you don't embarrass yourself in a public forum.

Anonymous said...

Well said, Charles. There's an old saying that explains that privilege is when something doesn't matter because it doesn't matter to you. Just because we're fortunate enough to be sitting at a desk typing on a keyboard doesn't mean that all (or even most) jobs are similar. If you've ever spent any time speaking with 50+ year olds who have spent most of their lives in a factory or in manual labor, you will hear what a lifetime of that type of work will do to a body. Even though life expectancies have increased and "50 is the new middle age," those for whom the Grid Rules apply don't share those same advantages. The Grid Rules are a fair and accurate way to determine disability.

Dan Smith said...

How about we knock it off with the anecdotal evidence of people we know who worked whatever jobs past the age of 50? It's irrelevant. The grid rules are based on a general assumption that the older people get, the harder it is to adjust to new work. Specific instances say nothing about that overall asumption (which at least in my opinion is quite apt).

Lance Koontz said...

Yeah there was that pesky little
thing called the great depression.

25% unemployment rate.....

Oh yeah ole' jim crow was in full bloom.

You have brain damage from overexposure to Faux news.

Oh yeah the good ole' days....

Anonymous said...

Another fact, in this society, not matter how skilled your past work and how healthy you are; it is simply hard to get a new job if you lost your old one. And yeah this is anecdotal and not scientific, but it is based on working with disabled individuals for many years. I also suspect there are studies on individuals over 50 looking for work that document is is difficult. With severe medical impairments, unlikely.

The "grids problem" is related to the DOT in my opinion, not some Puerto Ricans or age categories. And there is a larger problem, many ALJS could care less about the grids and the likelihood of a remand is what, 17%.

Anonymous said...

Charles i'm not an attorney as a matter of fact i'm a younger beneficiary. I disagree with your position. Age should not be a consideration. Actually it's a bias created by the government.

The only consideration should be whether or not a psychological/mental impedement exist which prevent less physically demanding work 5 eight hour days a week.

Liberal thinking has ruin the disability program. I'm a non liberal democrat.

Anonymous said...

all 50 year olds can't work? prove it

show me an updated study that shows that people age 50 will be unlikely to be hired for an unskilled job. oh, yea. that study doesn't exist, because it isn't true

the GRIDs should be abolished, and each person should be evaluated on their own merits as to whether they can work. period.

Anonymous said...

@10:17

The effects of age on mental function are objective and well-documented by medical science. The brain actually shrinks. Age effects multiple areas that are critical for work-related mental function. That’s obviously relevant to whether a person can sustain competitive employment.

Anonymous said...

10:17 So your position is as long as you are getting your benefits the heck with everybody else? I just love conservatives like you, because you expose how biased you are.

Anonymous said...

I see some discussion about difficulty finding work (@ 9:09 and implied elsewhere). Remember, disability benefits are meant for those that can't DO work. The ability to actually find work is irrelevant.

Anonymous said...

This is 10:17 AM, April 22, 2015

@1:43 PM, April 22, 2015

Without fact finding,your statements certainly sound factually reasonable and relevant to the determination process except i take issue with a grid formula that basically provides a"one size fit all"decisional outcome.

If age is the cause for "inability"then that should be demonstrated through medical condition and not the SSA's grid formula.

Again i do not have the education of an attorney nor a disability adjudicator but i do have some reasonable logic left.

Anonymous said...

1:43 noted; "The effects of age on mental function are objective and well-documented by medical science. The brain actually shrinks." Have you seen that marijuana makes the brain shrink also? So what are we going to do with all of these stoners?? Also, what would you like to say about Capt. Sully when he put that bird down on the river? He was over 50 you know. What about Steven Hawkins? He is over 50. We don't pay people that can't find work, we pay people that can not do ANY work at all.. Is that a hard concept to grasp? Or are you a stoner??

Anonymous said...

@4:54

1. You need to learn the disability definition. It's not "can not do any work at all." It's can't do substantial work.
2. The agency already has detailed guidance on how to handle the issue of drug abuse, which is an entirely different issue from age.
3. Rare examples like Steven Hawking exist, but are the exceptions that prove the rule. Do you think Mr. Hawking could work despite his physical disabilities if he had an average or less IQ, a high school or less education, and no transferable skills? Not likely.

@4:06

There's a reason why age has to be counted differently from medical impairments, that has to do with the legal analysis. Growing older is not technically a medical condition, even though the well-known effects of age can have an impact on employability for some types of jobs.

Anonymous said...

I enjoy reading all of your comments. I still think that we could be more civil with each other. Some of the comments seem a bit harsh. I guess the battle lines have been drawn to a large extent, especially in Congress.

I think that as a general matter age is an appropriate consideration. Remember, too, SSA is a bureaucracy. To what extent can it be customized for each individual? There are big backlogs already.

Anonymous said...

Using age as part of the equation is acceptable as long as they update the grid rules to reflect today's medical advances and jobs available. 50 isn't as old as it used to be.

Teresa Williams said...

My previous work history is as an office worker, and retail sales. I am no longer able to sit at a desk and use computer for 8 hrs/day, and I am not able to lift/carry more than 10 lb consistently, or operate cash register w/o severe pain. My short-term memory is no longer as reliable; brain fog. I can't always turn my head. I have 24/7 pain, which interferes with Activities of Daily Living. I drop things, as I have trouble grasping. I can't stand very long at a time.
At 53 1/2, what job would you suggest I train for, and what employer would want me, considering how likely it is that I would be injured?