The average adult professional doesn’t know much about Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. The one thing they may know, other than the fact that they help fund the program with their tax withholdings from each paycheck, is that quite a few people end up denied benefits.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) has a reputation for being very harsh in its analysis of disability applications. Many people don’t get benefits when they initially apply. It can be hard even for those who know they can no longer work to convince the SSA that they need disability support.
For blue-collar workers who only have a marginal education, there is a special rule that might make qualifying for benefits easier.
The disability standard is different for blue-collar workers
When the SSA reviews someone’s application for SSDI benefits, the primary concern is whether or not their condition meets the official standard for a total disability. The condition must prevent someone from engaging in any form of gainful employment.
Someone injured and unable to continue working the same job typically doesn’t qualify for SSDI and must instead move into any lower-paying profession available if they are able to perform some work functions.
The standard is less strict for those who have worked for at least 35 years in a highly-physical profession. Those who only have a marginal education and who have performed physical labor throughout their careers can potentially qualify for SSDI benefits when a medical condition or injury leaves them unable to work in the same profession.
Even if they could potentially pursue other employment opportunities, they may qualify for benefits based on the physical damage caused by manual labor and the marginal education that will keep them out of better-paying opportunities.
Getting benefits can still be an uphill battle
Even if you believe you could qualify for SSDI benefits based on your medical condition and your employment history, you might still receive a rejection notice in the mail. Getting benefits in a timely manner or successfully appealing after an initial denial will be important for your financial stability when you can no longer work to support yourself.
Bringing in professional help may increase your chances of success when applying for SSDI benefits or appealing an unfavorable decision.