Applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) typically means someone has to meet very strict requirements. They need to have a significant work history and an injury or medical condition so severe that they can’t work.
An injury that keeps someone from doing their current job isn’t enough to qualify for benefits, in most cases. Only an injury so severe that someone can no longer work any job will qualify for benefits. Thankfully, workers who have made a career of doing arduous physical labor may qualify for one of the few exceptions to the SSDI requirements.
You may qualify under the worn-out worker rule
Not all jobs cause the same amount of strain on the human body. Physically demanding jobs like mining, construction or agricultural work could create far more physical consequences for a worker than a retail or office job would.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) recognizes the strain caused by arduous physical labor and will approve some applicants for disability benefits even if the same condition would not qualify someone from a less challenging profession.
If you have worked for at least 35 years in an intensely physical profession and have no more than a marginal education, the SSA may approve your benefits claim despite the fact that you could potentially work a cash register or do a similar, low-paid job. Being unable to continue in your chosen profession, having a history of hard physical labor and little education may qualify you for SSDI even if others with the same condition would not receive benefits.
Learning more about SSDI benefits can help you get support when you can no longer work.