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Can I Get Social Security Disability if I Used to Work as a Carpenter?

Disability Benefits for Carpenters

Carpenters are used in almost every area of the construction industry. These professionals possess a wide variety of skills that assist in the construction of residential homes and commercial buildings. At the construction site, carpenters are responsible for cribbing basements, building the frameworks of houses, installing doors, windows and flooring, installing cabinets, building stairs, installing handrails, placing paneling and installing moldings. Carpenters also work on rebuilding existing structures, repairing and remodeling wood components. Some carpenters work on projects that are not construction related, such as building furniture from wood, like custom tables and entertainment centers.

There are a number of skills that a carpenter must possess, such as the ability to work with their hands, use hand and power tools and read drawings and plans. Self-employed carpenters must also be able to provide job estimates, determine what materials will be needed to perform a job and manage contractors that may also be working with them on specific projects. These responsibilities require critical thinking skills and a solid understanding of the carpentry business.

If a carpenter suffers from an injury or illness that prevents him from performing his job duties, he may suffer from severe financial setbacks. Without a means of income or insurance, the monetary stresses can become quickly overwhelming. Fortunately, Social Security Disability benefits may be able to help alleviate some of the financial stress that a disabled carpenter may be feeling.

Working with a Disability as a Carpenter

Carpenters who suffer from a disability might be able to continue working in a job that is not as taxing or demanding as that of a carpentry profession. Carpenters who have been working at construction sites may be able to do smaller jobs, such as building cabinets and furniture. If a disability is severe, however, and affects the way a carpenter is able to work with his hands or read plans and designs, then he may not be able to continue in his chosen line of work at all.

In some cases, disabled carpenters might be able to be retrained in a different line of work. This may require a significant amount of training or education, so the age of the carpenter and the specific limitations of his or her disability will need to be considered before this option can be pursued. In some cases, a disabled carpenter may not be able to perform any work activity at all. In situations such as this, the individual should apply for Social Security Disability benefits.

Applying for Social Security Disability as a Carpenter

Carpenters are highly-skilled individuals, but their skills are not easily transferred to other career paths. Because of this, it may make it easier for a disabled carpenter to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits should they suffer a long-term or permanent disability. It is important, however, to remember that the approval or denial of your disability claim will not be determined based on the severity of your disability or your skill set alone. The Social Security Administration also takes your age, education and work history into consideration when processing your Social Security Disability claim.

Let's say, for example, that you are a carpenter who suffers from severe arthritis and can no longer manage the duties of your work. You have been performing this type of work for the past five years. However, you have a bachelor's degree and prior to this you were working as an office manager. Your claim for disability benefits is likely to be denied because your condition would probably not affect your ability to go back and work as an office manager again.

On the other hand, let's say that you are 45 years old and carpentry is the only work you have ever performed. Unlike the scenario above, it would be very unlikely that your skill set would enable you to adjust to a career that was not as physically taxing on your body. In this case, your claim for Social Security Disability benefits is likely to be approved.

The key to being awarded the Social Security Disability benefits that you are entitled to is helping the Social Security Administration see that your disability prevents you from performing not only the work that you have done in the past, but any type of work whatsoever. This is why the residual functional capacity forms that you fill out during the application process are so important to your disability claim. This is also why it is important to have a Social Security Disability advocate or attorney representing you in your disability application or appeal.

When you work with a Social Security Disability advocate, he or she can ensure that your application for disability benefits is submitted in the best light possible to the Social Security Administration. This professional will ensure that your claim forms are filled out properly. If, for some reason, your claim for benefits is denied by the Social Security Administration, your attorney or advocate will be able to represent you during the appeal process and will ensure that you are represented properly at your disability hearing. In some cases, these professionals will call in expert witnesses on your behalf who will testify to the severity of your disability, your residual functional work capacity and how likely it is that you can be trained to perform another job in the national economy. Having this type of representation at a disability hearing can mean the difference between a Social Security Disability approval or a denial of your disability claim.

If you would like to discuss your disability case with a qualified Social Security Disability attorney, or if you would like to find out more about qualifying for Social Security Disability benefits as a disabled carpenter, submit a request for a free consultation today.