Qualifying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits isn’t easy. In fact, the process has a reputation for being incredibly difficult. Many qualified applicants have to appeal to get benefits, and some people never apply because they have heard rumors about how many people the Social Security Administration (SSA) turns away empty-handed.
Despite the strict enforcement of disability standards, the SSA does have several programs and policies that extend compassionate consideration to people in unusual situations. There are special opportunities for those with progressive and fatal diseases. There is also a special rule that applies to certain workers in physically-demanding blue-collar professions facing a sudden change in employment.
Those employees sometimes have an easier time qualifying for benefits than others would.
The SSA recognizes the damaging impact of physical labor
Certain jobs lead to more serious physical consequences than others. When someone spends their career engaging in hard physical labor, like scraping shingles off of roofs, their pursuit of a paycheck will do more damage to their body than a less physical profession would.
If someone has worked a manual labor job for at least 35 years, they could qualify for SSDI benefits when an injury or diagnosis forces them to change professions. Most applicants only qualify for benefits when they are unable to do even simple, unskilled work. However, physical laborers with a marginal education could qualify for SSDI benefits despite being able to work as a fry cook or a cashier.
If their condition is bad enough to force them out of their high-earning, blue-collar job, then it may be severe enough to qualify them for SSDI benefits. They can get benefits instead of trying to work a low-paying job while coping with pain and other symptoms.
Specialty claims require more preparation
To secure SSDI benefits under the so-called worn-out worker rule, you would need to submit not only documentation of your diagnosis and the effect of your condition on your work but also proof of your employment and of your educational history. Those hoping to secure benefits using specialty rules may require more assistance when initially applying or when appealing to get benefits.
Learning more about the unique rules that apply to SSDI benefits claims can help those unable to work because of medical issues.