If I can’t do physical work and can’t find a non-physical job, will my Social Security Disability application be approved?
Learn how your Social Security Disability application is evaluated when you apply for disability because you cannot do heavy physical work.
Disabled from Physical Work
It is fairly common for workers to become injured or to develop an illness that limits them from working in a physically demanding occupation. It is also fairly common that people in this situation have trouble finding a non-physical or less physically demanding job. In such circumstances, whether or not your Social Security Disability application is approved depends upon your physical limitations, your work history, your age, and your education, training, and transferable work skills. If you have the skills and health to work in a sedentary or light job, your claim will not be approved. On the other hand, if your education, training, and experience are limited so that you don’t have the skills to perform lighter occupations, your claim could be approved even though you are physically able to do such jobs.
How Age and Work History Fit In
If you are able to perform an occupation that you have performed in the past, then your disability claim will likely be denied, even if you cannot find a job. On the other hand, if you are unable to perform any occupations that you have done in the past, your ability to work in a new occupation will be evaluated considering your education, training, or transferable skills from past work as well as your physical or mental limitations. Age is also considered in determining whether you have the ability to begin a new occupation with different criteria applying to older workers age fifty through fifty-four and age fifty-five and older. Our article How Does the Social Security Administration Apply Social Security Laws to Determine If I Am Disabled? discusses the Social Security disability evaluation process in more detail.
File an Application and Get a Claim Determination
If you aren’t sure about your eligibility, it’s a good idea to play it safe and get a formal decision by filing a Social Security Disability application with the Social Security Administration or, at least get the input of one of the many skilled Social Security Disability attorneys.