Disability Benefits for Roofers
The main job function of a roofer is to install, repair and thatch roofs on both commercial and residential buildings. The roofer is responsible for covering these buildings with roofing materials that are intended to protect the buildings from the worst of nature's elements. Roofers commonly work with materials such as wood, brick, asphalt, tar, shingles, aluminum, bricks, slate and other roofing products. Once the roof has been installed, the roofer is responsible for binding and insulating the openings between the structure and the roof, ensuring that wind, rain, snow and other outside elements can't compromise the structural integrity of the building that they are working on.
Roofers are not necessarily in danger every moment of every day, but their occupation does come with certain risks. In fact, roofing occupations have been included in many of the “Top 10” most dangerous jobs lists in a number of publications. Roofers may suffer from falls from the rooftops they are working on or may become injured handling the materials they have to work with. Fortunately, when a roofer suffers from a job-related disability or other long-term illness or disabling condition, they may be able to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits.
Working with a Disability as a Roofer
A career as a roofer is a highly-skilled job, but that does not mean that it is easy for a roofer to adjust to another type of work if they become disabled and are unable to perform the duties required of their roofing occupation. For example, if a roofer were to suffer from a fall that left them in a wheelchair, there is no possible way they could continue a job in roofing. However, the Social Security Administration will want to see that the disability applicant is unable to work at all, and the fact that the claimant's career as a roofer is over will be irrelevant if the disability examiner determines that other types of work can be performed.
When you begin looking for other types of work when you have only had experience in the roofing industry, you will find that obtaining employment may be nearly impossible. The jobs you may qualify for will only pay a fraction of what you were once accustomed to making and most of the jobs that your skills would transfer to will still most likely be impossible to do.
When a roofer suffers from an illness or injury that results in a long-term or permanent disability, the financial stress can be devastating. If the disability is not job related, the roofer will not be entitled to any workers' compensation benefits. To make matters worse, many roofers are denied Social Security Disability benefits during the initial stage of the application process and must file an appeal with the Social Security Administration. The appeal process can take anywhere from a few months to a few years for a roofer to complete, which is why it is important for disabled roofers to file for Social Security Disability benefits as soon as a disability occurs and do everything possible to ensure that their initial application stands the best possible chance for approval by the SSA.
Applying for Social Security Disability as a Roofer
When a disabled roofer applies for Social Security Disability benefits, an adjudicator will review the applicant's file and will determine whether or not the individual can perform any other type of work in the national economy. Regardless of how severe your disability may be, if the SSA determines that there are other types of work that you are able to perform, your disability claim will be denied. This is why it is crucial that disabled roofers understand how to fill out their disability claim forms properly and how to help the adjudicator reviewing the file understand the severity of the disability and how it interferes with the applicant's ability to perform day-to-day activities, let alone maintain full-time employment.
If you are serious about improving your chances of an approval of your initial Social Security Disability claim, you need to consider the services of a qualified Social Security Disability advocate or attorney. These individuals can help you with the preparation of your disability claim, ensuring that you provide the SSA with all of the information needed to understand the severity of your condition and that enough medical evidence is furnished to support your disability application.
If, for some reason, the Social Security Administration denies your initial claim for disability benefits, your attorney or advocate will be able to represent you through the lengthy and complex Social Security Disability appeal process, which will more than likely include a disability hearing. At this hearing, your attorney or advocate may call in expert witnesses and vocational experts to explain why you are unable to work in any capacity and why you are entitled to Social Security Disability benefits.