Many people work their entire lives without encountering an illness or injury serious enough to keep them from being able to work for a year or longer. Unfortunately, the chance of suffering a disabling condition grows increasingly greater as we age. Unfortunately, the real-life consequences of a disability may, as well. At age 50, many people are in their most productive and highest-earning years, but many are also contributing simultaneously to launching their children's lives and to supporting older relatives.
Say you're 50 or 55. If you suffer a catastrophic injury or receive a serious diagnosis, you could suddenly find yourself unable to perform the work you've been doing your whole career. The cumulative effects of decades' worth of injuries and stress could finally reach the point where you can't work. What do you do now?
You may have looked into applying Social Security disability, only to find that you don't seem to meet all of the medical criteria. Don't give up.