Posts in:September, 2019

The Worn-Out Worker Rule

Posted September 20, 2019 by Premier Disability Services, LLC®

The “worn out worker” rule, a little-known provision of the Social Security regulations, applies to some disability applicants whose employment history consists of many years of unskilled physical labor. The worn-out worker rule allows for eligible disability claimants who would otherwise have their disability claim denied to be awarded Social Security benefits. To qualify, the disability applicant must:

  • have what’s defined as a “marginal education.” In general, the claimant must have a low skill level in academic areas such as reasoning, arithmetic, and language. A claimant who has completed no higher than the 6th grade is usually considered to have a marginal education.
  • have worked 35 years or more of performing only arduous unskilled physical labor positions. This could include some farm workers, mine workers, and others whose job duties were solely of a physical nature, and
  • be unable to perform their previous job duties due to a severe physical or mental impairment (or a combination of impairments). Just as for all Social Security disability claims, the impairment or impairments must be expected to last at least one year (or result in death).

Before deciding whether or not the worn-out worker rule applies to a disability applicant, the Social Security claims adjudicator (either a claims examiner or administrative law judge) will first evaluate the applicant’s disability status using Social Security’s five-step sequential evaluation process. If the disability claimant is not found disabled under these any of the steps, then the claims examiner or administrative law judge should consider the worn-out worker rule.

Many of the Social Security applicants who could qualify for disability benefits under the worn-out worker rule are actually approved because they meet the requirements for disability under a medical listing or residual functional capacity (RFC) assessment. In that case, the claims examiner or judge never considers the work-out worker rule.

Similarly, an applicant who is at least 55 years old, has no more than a limited education (11th grade or less and has not obtained a GED), and has no past relevant work experience will be found disabled as long as the individual has at least one severe, medically determinable impairment regardless of their residual functional capacity. See 20 CFR § 404.1562.

If you or someone you know is unable to work due to a medical condition, please contact us for a free evaluation of your claim!


More Conditions Added to the Compassionate Allowance List

Posted September 13, 2019 by Premier Disability Services, LLC®

Four new Compassionate Allowance conditions have recently been added to the list of claims that receive expedited decisions. They are: CDKL5 Deficiency Disorder, Pitt Hopkins Syndrome, Primary Peritoneal Cancer, and Richter Syndrome. The Compassionate Allowance List is a program to quickly identify severe diseases and medical conditions that meet Social Security’s standards for disability benefits.

The Compassionate Allowances program identifies claims where the applicant’s condition or disease clearly meets Social Security’s statutory standard for disability. Due to the severe nature of many of these conditions, these claims are often allowed based on medical confirmation of the diagnosis alone. The list has grown to a total of 237 conditions, including certain cancers, adult brain disorders, and a number of rare disorders that affect children. To date, more than 600,000 people with severe disabilities have been approved through this fast-track policy-compliant disability process.

Contact our office today if you or anyone you know would like to learn more about qualifying for Social Security Disability benefits.

Full list of Compassionate Allowances:

By: Joyce Trudeau of Premier Disability Services, LLC®

Sunday Begins National Suicide Prevention Week

Posted September 6, 2019 by Premier Disability Services, LLC®

Sunday, September 8, 2019 marks the beginning of National Suicide Prevention Week.  During this week, organizations and individuals will be drawing attention to the issue of mental illness and suicide.  In particular, strategies for suicide prevention will be discussed.  At Premier, we encourage any of our clients who are struggling with mental illness to take advantage of the resources available over the next week.

Contact our office today if you or anyone you know would like to learn more about qualifying for Social Security Disability benefits.

By: Devon Brady of Premier Disability Services, LLC®