Some adults coping with a major medical issue will eventually recover enough to resume their professional activities. Others may not be so fortunate. As a result, it is quite common for those coping with a chronic medical condition or a severe injury to need to change their profession once their bodies have begun to heal. Especially if they once worked in a blue-collar job, like construction or factory work, they may no longer be able to meet the demands of their job because of their medical limitations.
If you have had to reconsider your profession because of your chronic medical condition, can you potentially qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits in order to remain financially stable? The answer to this question depends upon a few factors, including whether you remain able to work at another job.
There is a very strict standard for total disability
The Social Security Administration (SSA) scrutinizes every application on an individual basis. The agency needs to understand someone’s diagnosis and how the medical consequences of their condition do and do not limit their ability to work.
In scenarios wherein people fail to provide sufficient documentation to support their claims of total disability, they may receive a rejection notice when they apply and may need to appeal. However, most workers who can continue working in a different profession will not meet the SSA’s very strict standard for total disability.
A notable exception to this rule involves blue-collar workers. Those who have engaged in at least 35 years of manual labor and who have only a marginal education, which often equates to a middle-school education or less, could potentially receive SSDI benefits even though they could theoretically move into a different job, like a fast food cook or grocery store clerk.
Given that blue-collar work often causes physical damage, the SSA allows those who have used their bodies to support themselves for years to leave their work permanently if their medical issues prevent them from maintaining the same position that they have always worked.
Building the case for your claim can be a challenge
Many individuals hoping to secure SSDI benefits fail to understand the rigorous review process and high standards maintained by the SSA. Inadequate medical documentation and minor mistakes on paperwork can deprive someone of benefits or leave them waiting for months for an appeal to resolve in their favor.
Bringing in professional help can make it easier for you to determine if you qualify for SSDI benefits and to improve your chances of success. Asking a legal professional any questions that you may have about your unique circumstances can also help you to make informed decisions about your options.