The Law Center For Social Security Disability
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You may qualify for SSDI benefits if you are a “worn-out worker”

Have you suffered an injury that makes it impossible for you to do your job? Experiencing sudden unemployed after years of hard work can cause serious money issues.

If you meet certain conditions, you may qualify for Social Security Disability benefits based on what is referred to as the “worn-out worker” rule.

Your work history

To qualify for these benefits, your work experience has to be “arduous unskilled physical labor.” This means that to perform the type of job duties you did for years, a worker has to be very strong or able to endure long periods of physically demanding work. For example, work in the mining industry, the commercial fishing industry or farming may qualify.

You must also be able to show you worked at one or more jobs doing the same kind of work for at least 35 years.

Your educational level

Usually, marginal education means that your ability to perform arithmetic, your reasoning skills and your language skills must be at or below a sixth-grade level. If you completed higher grades, but your skills 35 years later no longer meet those education levels, you may still qualify.

If you had less schooling but have a level of math, reasoning or language skills you can apply to learning a new type of work, this may disqualify you for SSDI benefits based on this rule.

Possible reasons for denial

Even though you have a disability, the Social Security Administration may deny your claim if you currently still work unless the work is not constant or your doctor has warned you not to perform that type of work.

You may also receive a denial if your work experience enables you to do another type of job that your disability does not prevent you from performing. For example, if you did paperwork in addition to the physical labor or you received training in dispatching, you may be able to get a job using one of these skills.

The key to qualifying for benefits under this particular rule is that you can prove you are at a point in your life where your disability, work experience and education level will keep you from finding a job that allows you to support yourself.

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The Law Center for Social
Security Disability

414 NW 4th Street Suite 140
Oklahoma City, OK 73102

Phone: 405-896-8852
Fax: 405-272-0367
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