Many people assume that mechanics are only responsible for routine automotive maintenance or fixing cars when they break down. In actuality, the profession of a mechanic is much more complex. Mechanics are highly-trained individuals who are able to create, structure and maintain a variety of mechanical equipment. In addition to working with automobiles, mechanics also work with production machinery, trucks and a variety of other mechanical systems.
Mechanics usually obtain their training through a combination of technical or vocational classes and on-the-job apprenticeship training. While many mechanics train to work with a wide variety of vehicles, others specialize in one type of engine. For example, some mechanics may specialize in a certain type of production machinery while others may choose to specialize on a specific type of car engine. Specialized mechanics offer specialized service and have more knowledge of complex machinery and engines. That is why so many owners of high-end cars tend to seek out specialized mechanics rather than taking their car into a mechanic who has generalized training.
While all mechanic jobs can be hazardous to some degree, some are more dangerous than others. For example, mechanics who work on mining machines may face more dangers than mechanics who work at a car dealership. Mechanics may also be exposed to asbestos. That being said, every mechanic's job does come with some risk and it is not uncommon for mechanics to suffer injuries or illnesses that prevent them from continuing in their chosen line of work.
If you are a mechanic who has suffered a long-term or permanent disability that prevents you from continuing your job responsibilities, you may be wondering how you will provide for yourself and your family. Fortunately, Social Security Disability benefits may be there to help.
Working with a Disability as a Mechanic
If you suffer a disability that prevents you from performing work as a mechanic, you may be able to work in a different occupation if your disability allows for it. Some disabled mechanics are able to obtain work in management positions that do not require actual physical mechanical work. Others may be able to obtain training or education that allows them to pursue a different career path.
In some cases, disabled mechanics suffer from disabilities that are so severe that they are unable to perform any gainful work activity at all. In other cases, a mechanic's age or condition may prevent him or her from obtaining the training that would be necessary to pursue a different career path. In these cases, the only way to make ends meet may be to obtain Social Security Disability benefits.
Applying for Social Security Disability as a Mechanic
When a disabled mechanic applies for Social Security Disability benefits, the Social Security Administration will take a number of things into account when deciding whether to approve or deny the disability claim. These factors include the mechanic's age, education, work history and the severity of the disabling condition. If it is determined that the disabled worker can use their skills to obtain a different job or pursue the education or training needed for a different career path, then Social Security Disability benefits are likely to be denied.
The most important thing to remember when filing for Social Security Disability benefits is that the Social Security Administration is not interested in whether or not you can continue work in your current occupation. Their job is to determine whether you can perform any type of substantial gainful work activity at all. This means that if you could be reasonably expected to obtain training or education for a different occupation that would accommodate your disabling condition, the SSA will not approve your Social Security Disability claim. For example, if you are in your thirties and suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome that prevents you from performing your job duties as a mechanic, the SSA may determine that you can be retrained to perform other types of work. In this case, your claim for Social Security Disability benefits would be denied.
When a mechanic's Social Security Disability claim is denied, it is usually due to the fact that the adjudicator reviewing the file does not understand the extent of the disability and how it prevents the disabled individual from performing any type of work activity. This is where the services of a qualified disability attorney or advocate can help. These professionals can help you prove your disability case to the Social Security Administration and, if necessary, can represent you during your disability appeal.
If your initial application for Social Security Disability benefits is denied, your disability advocate or attorney can represent you at your disability hearing. At this hearing, medical and vocational experts may be called in to testify on your behalf, helping the administrative law judge understand why you are unable to work due to your disability. Statistics show that applicants who have proper representation at this hearing are more likely to be awarded benefits than applicants who try to represent themselves.