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Special SSDI rule for certain blue-collar workers

On Behalf of | May 30, 2024 | Social Security Disability |

The rules about qualifying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits are quite strict. The Social Security Administration (SSA) is somewhat notorious for rejecting many applications from people who have debilitating medical conditions. Technical issues with paperwork or medical conditions that do not meet very high disability standards can lead to a denied benefits claim.

Typically, only those who find themselves completely unable to work even the most unskilled position qualify for SSDI benefits. An accountant with a brain injury may no longer be able to handle complex client projects, but they can still potentially work at a grocery store. If someone can work any job, they usually don’t qualify for SSDI benefits.

However, there are some exceptions to the strict standards maintained by the SSA. Certain blue-collar workers may receive a bit more grace when they apply for SSDI benefits. In qualifying cases, blue-collar workers who cannot maintain their same job can receive SSDI benefits.

How the worn-out worker rule can help

Working and arduous physical job takes a toll on someone’s body. Over time, manual labor can cause joint pain and other issues, like repetitive stress disorders. Workers accept the likely damage that manual labor could have on their bodies in exchange for competitive wages in many cases. The SSA factors that physical wear into its rules about SSDI benefits. If someone has done arduous physical labor for 35 years or longer, they may qualify for SSDI benefits under the worn-out worker rule.

This rule makes qualifying easier for those who have put their bodies at risk for decades by doing manual labor. Provided that they only have a marginal education and no other relevant work history, a blue-collar worker who can no longer perform their job due to a medical condition could qualify for SSDI benefits.

Those hoping to apply for SSDI benefits need extensive medical records supporting their claims. They also need to properly execute the forms required by the SSA. Those using special rules to qualify may require other records, such as records of their employment and educational background. Having the right support during a complex SSDI benefits claim or appeal can make a major difference for a blue-collar worker coping with a debilitating medical challenge.