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Qualifying as a Worn Out Worker for Social Security Disability

There are two ways in which a claimant may qualify for Social Security disability with a long history for hard, arduous work. There are as follows: (1) a person with a marginal education and long work experience to arduous unskilled physical labor, and a person who is (2) advanced age, limited education and no work experience.

Let's just concentrate on the first one for today. This kind of work and education background can become quite important for those under the age of 55, especially someone who would likely not qualify for disability benefits because there would be the assumption that he or she could at least perform sedentary work, which would preclude an approval for disability benefits.

Marginal Education:

This is typically reserved for claimant with a 6th grade education or less. However, the grade level is not conclusive as to whether a person would qualify. The claimant could present evidence that he or she is limited in reasoning ability, arithmetic, or language. Thus, the grade level in which a claimant achieved is only the starting point in determining whether one has a marginal education.

Long work experience of arduous unskilled labor:

35-years is the starting point in determining a claimant's past relevant work. He or she must have either worked at a job requiring very heavy lifting (usually 100 pounds or more) on a daily basis, or a job that required less lifting ability but required the claimant to complete physical activities over and over again at a very fast pace. For example, a claimant that perhaps only lifted 50 to 75 pounds throughout each day, but he or she did so repetitively at a very fast pace throughout the entire day. This would also qualify.

The work is going to have to be unskilled as well. Past work that would qualify as semi-skilled would generally rule out the "worn out worker rule," but if such skills for an advanced aged person did not enhance his or her ability to perform at a light exertion level, then these kinds of jobs would also be given serious consideration.

For those reading this, the rule is actually quite simple.

If you have worked for at least 35 years at very difficult and unskilled work and you have a very limited education, it is likely you would be considered for approval of your Social Security disability benefits. However, beware, this rule is quite rare and many disability adjudicators do not know this rule or forgets that it exists.

Please call our office if you need help with your Social Security disability benefits: (888) 780-9125.

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