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Can I Get Social Security Disability if I Used to Work as a Data Entry Clerk?

Disability Benefits for Data Entry Workers

Data entry workers, also known as data entry clerks, typists, and keypunch technicians, are employed by many types of businesses. Their main function is to input data into a computer database. This usually involves typing the information in using a keyboard, though other means of transferring data are also used, including electronically transmitted files and scanners.

There are currently over 420,000 data entry workers employed in the United States, though this number is expected to decline somewhat over the next ten years. The reasons for the decline in need for data entry workers include improved technology which allows other employees to perform their own data entry efficiently and outsourcing of simple, unskilled data entry worker jobs to overseas companies. Within ten years, new data entry worker jobs are expected to decline by about 6% to less than 400,000 employed in the field of data entry.

Data entry jobs require proficiency with a computer (including current office software applications), a copier, scanner, and other common office machinery. Many data entry jobs require proficiency with specific computer programs which serve the particular needs of the company.

As with most office jobs, there are few hazards inherent to data entry workers’ actual jobs. Like any job, though, there are cases where a worker is hurt severely enough that it may be impossible to continue working as a data entry worker. Injuries and conditions which affect the hands, eyesight, and fine motor skills can make data entry work impossible.

Some of the major disabilities which make it difficult to do data entry work include blindness, arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and any mental condition which makes it difficult to concentrate for long periods of time or to deal with the daily stress of office life. Those with back injuries or other conditions which make it difficult to sit for long periods of time may also have trouble maintaining employment in the data entry field, as these jobs typically require you to sit at a desk for several hours at a time.

Working with a Disability as a Data Entry Worker

If you are a data entry worker who has found it impossible to continue working due to an illness, an injury, or some other medically verifiable condition, you may qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. Conditions which cause it to be impossible to continue working in your field may include anything which affects your fine motor skills, including your ability to type, and conditions which make it difficult for you to see.

There are a number of mental conditions which may also qualify you for disability benefits if they don’t improve under a qualified doctor’s treatment. Anything which can be shown to significantly impact your ability to function in a typical office setting may be considered when deciding whether you are disabled for Social Security Disability purposes.

It’s worth noting that there is a significant difference in the way the Social Security Administration and most disability income programs (such as workman’s comp and disability income insurance) determine whether or not you are disabled. For Social Security Disability purposes, you are either considered completely disabled, or you aren’t considered disabled at all. In order to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits, you must show that you are incapable of continuing to perform as a data entry worker and, additionally, that you are also unable to perform any kind of work which you have done in the past 15 years.

Filing for Disability as a Data Entry Worker

The first thing anyone who is applying for Social Security Disability benefits should know is that it isn’t a fast process. It can take several months for the SSA to make a determination on your case, and often the amount of time spent waiting has little or nothing to do with the way you’ve handled your case, but with the enormous caseload handled by all Social Security Disability adjudicators.

With that said, however, there are some things you can do on your application (or appeal) which can help make sure the process doesn’t get bogged down unnecessarily. Make sure all questions asked on all SSA forms are answered completely and honestly and make sure that all accompanying medical documentation is with your request.

Perhaps the best thing you can do for yourself when trying to apply for disability benefits as a data entry worker is to contract the services of an experienced Social Security Disability attorney. More than anyone else, your Social Security lawyer will be thoroughly familial with the kinds of information the SSA uses in determining whether or not you qualify or Social Security Disability SSI or SSDI benefits.

Data entry clerks may find it difficult to prove that they are completely disabled without the help of a disability lawyer, as simple activities like being able to sit down for several hours and watch television programs may be considered “proof” of your ability to sit in one place and concentrating on the task at hand. This supposed proof can then be used to imply that you should reasonably be able to continue doing data entry work. A SSI disability attorney knows what the SSA is looking for in the seemingly innocuous questions they ask, and can help you avoid hurting your own case.

If you are interested in obtaining an evaluation of your Social Security Disability case, click the "Free Disability Evaluation" link at the top of the page for your free case evaluation or to get more information about hiring a disability attorney.