Compassionate Guidance For Workers’ Compensation and Social Security Disability

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There’s a special SSD rule for blue-collar workers

On Behalf of | Mar 12, 2023 | Social Security -- Disability |

Medical issues ranging from multiple sclerosis to lung cancer can keep someone from continuing to work. In situations wherein a medical issue affects someone’s employment and will last for at least a year or longer, they may want to pursue a claim for Social Security Disability (SSD) insurance benefits.

Workers who have made payroll contributions to the Social Security Administration (SSA) throughout their employment history can potentially file a claim for benefits that will help to cover their basic expenses until they qualify for retirement benefits or they sufficiently recover from their debilitating condition.

The standard for disability benefits is quite difficult for people to meet, and a large percentage of applicants get denied and must appeal. However, there is a special rule for blue-collar workers that can make it somewhat easier for them to qualify for SSD benefits.

The SSA considers the physical consequences of blue-collar work

People can certainly damage their bodies working in an office or similar professional setting, but it is often blue-collar workers who have the worst health consequences related to their jobs. Repetitive stress injuries and heavy lifting for years can wreak havoc on someone’s musculoskeletal system and leave them with debilitating pain.

Provided that someone in a blue-collar career has done physical labor for 35 years or longer, they may qualify for SSD benefits even when people in other professions might not. The worn-out worker rule allows those with 35 years or more of blue-collar employment history and a marginal education to qualify for SSD benefits when they can no longer work in the same profession.

Rather than forcing them to move into an entry-level job at a grocery store or fast food restaurant, the SSA allows them to claim benefits on the basis of the damage caused to their body by years of physical work. Such claims can be beneficial for injured adults but can also prove a significant challenge, as workers will generally need to have evidence about their work history and educational background to present to the SSA in addition to the standard medical records required in most cases.

Partnering with a lawyer is usually a wise decision for those who need SSD benefits after a condition forces them to leave their blue-collar profession. Although it would be ideal if it was easy for non-professionals to navigate the system without much fuss, it is notoriously difficult to secure SSD benefits on an applicant’s first try, so seeking legal guidance tends to be beneficial.