The Social Security Administration has a very strict standard for disability benefits. If you want to collect disability benefits, you will need to show that your condition doesn’t just prevent you from performing your current job but all forms of work.
Many people used to performing demanding physical labor for a living wage may struggle with the idea of needing to work for minimum wage in a retail or restaurant setting. Some of these workers may qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance SSDI benefits under the worn-out worker rule. Will that rule apply to you?
Only those who have made a career of performing physically-demanding labor will typically qualify for benefits under worn-out worker rule. You will need to have worked for at least 35 years performing arduous unskilled physical labor to qualify. So many years of performing physical labor can take its own toll on your body, making it unreasonable and unfair to force you to continue working in another field when you can’t work your current job anymore.
If you have spent 35 years or more performing demanding physical labor and do not have the education to pursue a different job, you may qualify for SSDI benefits even if you could still work in a retail or restaurant setting. In some cases, those over the age of 55 with limited education and minimal work experience may also qualify under the same rule if they have a significantly disabling medical condition.
Learning about when you can qualify for SSDI benefits can help you determine if applying is the right decision.