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The "Worn Out Worker" Rule: SSD Benefits for Heavy Laborers

When you, a close friend or family member have spent the majority of your viable years earning a living through so-called "unskilled" heavy labor, it's not unusual to eventually find that your health has been negatively affected. What, then, do you do if you find yourself unable to continue doing the hard work you have done for years or decades - the work that financially supported you and your family?

Fortunately, there may be an option for getting financial support under a lesser known Social Security provision - known as the "worn out worker" rule - that allows injured heavy laborers to claim disability benefits.

To apply for Social Security disability under this rule, you will need to satisfy several conditions to be approved. These conditions can be very particular and sometimes difficult to adequately prove.

To qualify for benefits under this provision, the applicant must satisfy these requirements:

A marginal education

This typically refers to a sixth grade or lower level of formal education. You may be required to show some proof of a low level of academic function or disability in areas like reading, mathematics, writing and logical reasoning.

35 or more years in arduous and unskilled heavy labor

A job is technically considered to qualify as arduous when it relies mostly on the physical strength and endurance of the worker performing it. Unskilled labor means that the task being performed doesn't require much judgment on the part of the worker and is also simple enough to learn in a short amount of time.

A mental or physical disability that prevents continuing the work

This refers to situations in which a worker has developed a mental or physical disability that will impair their ability to perform their former job for at least the following 12 months, or if their disability is expected to result in death.

When a worker meets all of the criteria above, they may qualify to receive Social Security Disability under the "worn out worker" provision. Claims of this nature often proceed through the system more smoothly with the assistance of an experienced legal adviser who is familiar with the intricacies of disability law and who can ensure that the evidence you will need to supply meets the needed requirements.

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The Law Center for Social
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