20 CFR 416.924b
DI 25215.001 Age – General
A. Policy - general (Section 416.924b(a))
In this section, we explain how we consider age when we decide whether you are disabled. Your age may or may not be a factor in our determination whether your impairment(s) meets or medically equals a listing, depending on the listing we use for comparison. However, your age is an important factor when we decide whether your impairment(s) is severe (see DI 25220.005) and whether it functionally equals the listings (see DI 25225.001 ff.). Except in the case of certain premature infants, as described in DI 25215.010, age means chronological age.
B. Policy - age and sequential evaluation (Section 416.924b(a)(1)-(3))
1. Consideration of Age When We Determine Whether You Have a Severe Impairment(s)
Is Impairment(s) Severe?
When we determine whether you have an impairment or combination of impairments that is severe, we will compare your functioning to that of children your age who do not have impairments.
2. Consideration of Age When We Determine Whether Your Impairment(s) Meets a Listing
When we determine whether your impairment(s) meets a listing, we may or may not need to consider your age. The listings describe impairments that we consider of such significance that they are presumed to cause marked and severe functional limitations.
If the listing appropriate for evaluating your impairment is divided into specific age categories, we will evaluate your impairment according to your age when we decide whether your impairment meets that listing.
If the listing appropriate for evaluating your impairment does not include specific age categories, we will decide whether your impairment meets the listing without giving consideration to your age.
3. Consideration of Age When We Determine Whether Your Impairment(s) Medically Equals the Severity of a Listing
When we compare an unlisted impairment or a combination of impairments with the listings to determine whether it medically equals the severity of a listing, the way we consider your age will depend on the listing we use for comparison. We will use the same principles for considering your age as in DI 25215.001B.2.a.; that is, we will consider your age only if we are comparing your impairment(s) to a listing that includes specific age categories.
See DI 25225.001 ff. for a discussion on how we consider age in determining whether a child's impairment(s) functionally equals the listings.