The "Worn Out Worker" Rule

Have you or your loved one worked for 35 years or more in a job that requires heavy labor and arduous work — working by the sweat of your brow on a factory floor, driving cross-country as an OTR driver or working the land as a gardener or farm hand — only now to find yourself incapable of performing arduous work due to a disability or impairment? If so, and if you have limited education, you may be eligible for Social Security benefits under the so-called "worn out worker" rule.

At The Law Center for Social Security Disability, we have been helping disabled individuals in the greater Oklahoma City area obtain the disability benefits they deserve since 1992. I am attorney Gary Jones, the founding lawyer at The Law Center for Social Security Disability, and for 25 years I have had great success helping hard workers like you get Social Security benefits under this little-known rule.

You Deserve Compensation For Your Lifetime Of Hard Work

Under the "worn out worker" rule, disabled individuals who have worked for many years as "unskilled" physical laborer may be eligible for Social Security benefits even though they may otherwise be ineligible for an award of benefits. Although the rule is seemingly straightforward, the SSA applies it stringently — and sometimes inappropriately.

To qualify under the rule, the applicant must:

  • Have a "marginal education." Generally, this means an education level of 6th grade or less. The claimant must usually establish that they have a low academic skill level in areas like reading, writing, arithmetic and logical reasoning.
  • Have worked at least 35 years performing labor that was both unskilled and arduous. Work is considered unskilled when the job is simple, can be learned in a short period of time and requires little use of judgment. Work may be deemed arduous when it is primarily physical in nature and requires strength and endurance. Jobs that may satisfy both requirements include farm work, mine work, certain driving jobs and jobs that involve repetitive bending and lifting at a fast pace.
  • Have a disability or impairment that prevents them from performing the duties of their previous job. The impairment or disability can be physical or mental in nature, and it must be expected to last at least 12 months or result in death.

Let Us Help You Get The Benefits You Deserve

At The Law Center for Social Security Disability, I have experience with these types of work disability claims and know how to develop the evidence to satisfactorily establish the nature and extent of your job skills and the physical exertion level that was required in your previous employment. Armed with the proper evidence, I can help convince the examiner of your situation and prevent them from making a mistake during the evaluation process.

For an experienced, local advocate who has your best interests at heart, contact The Law Center for Social Security Disability to find out whether you might be eligible for benefits under the "worn out worker" rule. Contact me today for a free evaluation by sending an email or calling 405-896-8852.

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