The Social Security Administration (SSA) receives payroll contributions from employers, employees and independent contractors across the country. Those contributions help fund several important benefit programs, which the SSA also administers.
Once workers are old enough, they can receive Social Security retirement benefits to help augment their savings and pensions. These benefits help ensure that those who have worked for a living have some basic financial support when they retire. Of course, not everyone can keep working until they reach retirement age.
Some workers will develop disabling medical conditions long before they are old enough to retire. These workers may qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. However, the standard for SSDI benefits is quite high.
The high standards for SSDI benefits
The worker applying for SSDI needs to have a medical condition that prevents them from doing any sort of job whatsoever and that will last for at least a full year. The SSA will expect those with partial disabilities to seek lower-paying employment if someone can perform basic tasks.
However, certain blue-collar workers may qualify for SSDI benefits even if they could work as a greeter or a cashier somewhere making minimum wage.
What is the rule for manual laborers?
The SSA has a special rule that can help workers in blue-collar fields qualify for benefits more easily than those in some other professionals. If you have done unskilled manual work for at least 35 years and if you have no more than a marginal education, you may qualify for benefits when you can no longer do the job you currently perform.
The so-called “worn-out worker rule” allows those who have earned a living through hard physical labor to get benefits even if they could potentially do lower-paying jobs after their diagnosis. Blue-color workers with marginal educations can obtain SSDI benefits until they are old enough to retire.
Complex applications require more evidence
If you want to apply for SSDI benefits under a special rule, you will need an understanding of the law and the appropriate documentation to validate your claim. Getting the right support and learning more about the SSA’s rules can help blue-collar workers in need of SSDI benefits connect with the support they require.