It's true, sometimes people have too much education and/or transferable work skills to be completely unable to work at any other job in the national economy.
When filing for Social Security disability benefits, the Social Security Administration (SSA) looks at a number of factors to decide whether you are disabled.
Most importantly, SSA looks at your age, your education, and your transferable work skills from jobs you've held over the last fifteen years (besides your medical records).
So, let's break these down to discuss them further.
Your age. It's true as well, the older you are the easier it is to qualify for disability benefits. The regulations favor those over the age of 50. If you are over the age of 60, then SSA will consider your case very carefully for each of the impairments you allege. The younger you are, the more likely you are capable of performing some type of work even with your impairments. Age is an extremely important factor. When considering two different people with the exact same impairments, the older person may be approved and the younger will be denied benefits. It's not a fair system, but it's the system nonetheless.
Next, SSA will consider your education. The more educated you are, the more likely you are able to perform sedentary work. This means that if you are educated, you may still be able to work at some type of job that requires you to sit for six out of eight hours per day. SSA also recognizes persons who have worked at heavy or very heavy work their whole life. There is an understanding that as a person ages, his or her body breaks down, especially with hard physical labor. So, taking into consideration an older person (over the age of 50) and one that has less than a high school education, this will actually increase his or her chances for qualifying for disability benefits.
Then, there is what is called transferable work skills. If you have worked at skilled work in the past, then it is likely you have acquired worker skills you can transfer to some other type of work. But, there are also the intangible skills of managing people and money, leadership skills, organizational and management skills as well. Thus, for people who have worked in a management type position in the past, it is more likely he or she would be able to at least transfer some of those skills to some other type of work. But also beware, even if a person had no transferable work skills, SSA recognizes a couple hundred unskilled sedentary jobs within the national economy. So, even if a person did not have these transferable work skills, SSA may still decide he or she could do some other type of unskilled work.
So, as you can see, there are a number of factors that go into deciding whether a person is disabled. Remember, it's not always that you are too sick or impaired to work any longer. While that may be the case, SSA may also decide that you are not too sick or too impaired to do some type of simple work.
We help persons throughout Texas and California needing to file for their Social Security disability benefits. You are always free to contact our office at: (888) 780-9125.