The number of women who are protected by and qualify for Social Security disability benefits has increased significantly over the past few years. However, a recent and strong work record is very important for women who wish to qualify for disability benefits. The increase in female Social Security disability beneficiaries is linked to the increase in the number of women joining the workforce over the past few decades. Those numbers increased with the rise of the women’s rights movement and with women’s increased entrance into the workforce in the 1970s. Those numbers have leveled among younger women, but have continued to grow amongst women over 50.
Women over the age of 50 are the most likely to need Social Security disability benefits due to various health-related issues. They are at a higher risk for ovarian cancer and breast cancer. Menopause can bring with it a decrease in bone density and a higher risk of joint-related problems, including arthritis and osteoarthritis. A woman’s risk of cardiovascular conditions including heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, and stroke – all of which can leave her disabled – also increases after she crosses her half-century mark.
A recent, strong work record is important for any woman seeking Social Security disability benefits. A woman must have worked for at least 5 years out of the last ten years to qualify for benefits. As many as three-quarters of all Social Security disability benefits payments are made to people above the age of 70. As women age, they must keep this in mind, and ensure that they have a well-documented record of employment in order to remain eligible for benefits in the event of a medical condition in the future.