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Disability Benefits for Security Guards

A security guard, also referred to as a security officer, is an individual who is hired to protect a property or an individual or their assets. Security guards can be hired privately, but they are usually employed by security agencies. Most security guards are uniformed, much like police officers, but do not usually carry weapons. Instead, their job is to maintain a visible presence in order to discourage illegal activity and observe the property or individuals they are protecting for signs of a potential crime. If suspicious activity is noted, the security guard is responsible for reporting the incident to the proper authorities and the individuals they are employed by.

Most security guards are employed to detect, deter, observe and report. Making actual arrests is not a routine part of a security guard's job, but they can (and sometimes do) make a citizens arrest when the need arises. Because of this, many security guards are trained to perform arrests and other control procedures. They may also be trained in the operation of emergency equipment and first aid duties.

Because a large part of the security guard's job is that of observation and reporting, security guards are required to have sharp observation skills and the ability to accurately report the activities they observe. Exceptional note-taking skills are required to properly perform work as a security guard. If a security guard is acting as an armed guard, he or she must also be able to properly use the weapons they will be carrying.

Employment as a security guard can be a dangerous job. While most of the security guard's activities will involve observation and reporting, there can be times when altercations occur. These altercations may result, on occasion, in severe and permanent injury to the security personnel. Some security guards have suffered gunshot wounds, impact injuries and other job-related accidents while carrying out their duties.

Working with a Disability as a Security Guard

Individuals who are trained as security guards may suffer a job-related disability or an unrelated illness or injury that prevents them from being able to carry out their duties. Security guards often have to perform “rounds” that require extensive walking. If an illness or injury prevents this type of activity, the security guard may not be able to carry out their routine work activities. Illness or injury that affects the individual's ability to think clearly and accurately report observations, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, may also result in the inability to continue work in the security field. In these cases, Social Security Disability benefits may be able to help.

When a security guard files a claim for Social Security Disability benefits, the Social Security Administration will not only be looking at the medical evidence pertaining to the individual's medical disability. They will also take into account the security guard's work history, education and vocational skills. The severity of the disability will not automatically qualify the security guard for Social Security Disability benefits. If the adjudicator reviewing the security guard's file feels that there is other work that the security guard may be able to perform, the applicant's Social Security Disability claim may be denied.

Applying for Social Security Disability as a Security Guard

When an individual has spent their life protecting property and people as a security guard, a sudden inability to work can cause severe financial stress. If you have been performing work as a security guard and are no longer able to carry out your job duties due to a long-term or permanent disability, you should file a Social Security Disability application with the Social Security Administration as soon as possible.

The initial disability application process only takes three to four months to complete, but many of the security guards who apply for these benefits will be denied during the initial stage of the application process. These applicants must then undergo the lengthy disability appeal process in order to obtain the benefits they may be entitled to.

Why are security guards commonly denied Social Security Disability benefits? In many cases it is because the adjudicator who is reviewing the file determines that there are other types of work in the national economy that the security guard can perform. For example, if a security guard is injured due to back trauma, the adjudicator may assume that the applicant can obtain employment as a security guard who observes from a seated position using security cameras, not taking into account that sitting for long periods may not be possible due to the extent of the disabling condition.

Because it can be hard for a security guard to be approved for Social Security Disability benefits, you may want to consider hiring a qualified Social Security Disability advocate or attorney prior to filing your Social Security Disability claim. These professionals can ensure that your application is presented in the best light possible to the Social Security Administration, that there is enough medical evidence to support your claim and that the adjudicator reviewing your file fully understands the extent of your disability.

If your initial claim for Social Security Disability benefits is denied, your SSDI attorney or advocate can increase your chances of filing a successful disability appeal. Statistics show that applicants who have proper representation during the appeal process are more likely to be awarded benefits than those who chose to represent themselves. During the appeal process, your advocate or attorney can plead your case to the administrative law judge, providing evidence as to why your disability has completely prevented you from performing any type of work activity and why you are entitled to Social Security Disability benefits.