Ohio Social Security Disability And SSI Legal Blog

There’s a special SSDI rule that applies to blue-collar workers

Not everyone with a medical issue qualifies for disability benefits. Especially if someone needs Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, the standard is relatively strict. Most workers have to prove that they are incapable of doing any work because of their health challenges.

An accountant with a debilitating brain injury might no longer be able to do their well-paid job, but they might be able to work in a customer service position at a retail shop. Given that they could do that unskilled and low-paid work, the Social Security Administration (SSA) is likely to reject their application for benefits.

However, enforcing that standard universally could be highly unfair to certain groups of people. Blue-collar workers sacrifice their physical health and give up educational opportunities in pursuit of employment using their bodies for businesses. Therefore, the SSA actually has a different rule for many blue-collar workers who are in need of SSDI benefits.

There is a rule for worn-out workers

If someone has worked in a blue-collar profession for a long time, they may qualify for disability benefits with a condition that might not be sufficient for someone else to qualify. The worn-out worker rule helps physical laborers obtain benefits even though they might be able to work a different job.

This rule takes into consideration the physical damage that blue-collar employment often triggers. Someone who has spent 35 years or more in a blue-collar field might qualify under this rule. They need to show that they only have a marginal education, which generally means about a sixth-grade level of education.

They also need to establish that their medical condition prevents them from continuing their blue-collar employment that entails arduous physical labor. Provided that they meet those specific standards, those who work in blue-collar professions can qualify for SSDI benefits.

They don’t need to go work a minimum wage job at a restaurant or a big box store to support themselves. They can obtain SSDI benefits that help cover their cost-of-living expenses until they reach retirement age. Applicants seeking benefits using special rules may need more documentation than the average person applying.

Gathering proper documentation and learning more about the rules for SSDI benefits can make a major difference for blue-collar workers who must prematurely end their careers. Ultimately, blue-collar workers can potentially obtain benefits when other workers cannot.