Disability Benefits for Stonemasons
Stonemasons are professional tradesmen who are trained to do brick and stone work. They are also commonly referred to as blockmasons, brickmasons and bricklayers. These professionals use different types of stone to create structures like walls, fences, floors and other interior and exterior structures in and around commercial and residential buildings. Stonemasons use a variety of tools to perform their jobs such as levels, mallets, wedges, power saws and other specialized cutting and hand tools. It takes years of training for these individuals to learn about the different types of stonemason materials, the methods of the trade and the proper tools to use for each project.
Stonemasons face a number of risks each and every day on the job. Back injuries such as herniated and ruptured discs are common due to the weight of the materials being worked with. Falls are not uncommon and injuries resulting from accidental misuse of a tool can cause a serious long-term or permanent disability. One simple mistake or accident can result in a complete loss of a stonemason's ability to perform his or her job.
Work as a stonemason takes a high level of both physical and mental capability. If a stonemason faces a long-term or permanent disability that prevents them from performing their job duties, the financial ramifications can be overwhelming. Even worse, if the disability is not job related, the stonemason will not qualify for workers' compensation benefits. Fortunately, these individuals may qualify for Social Security Disability benefits should a disability arise.
Working with a Disability as a Stonemason
Stonemason's are highly-skilled craftsman. They are trained to do a specific type of work and if a disability leaves them unable to do that work, it is often very hard for them to find a different type of job in the national economy. Very few of the stonemason's skills will transfer to another career and a disability that would prevent a stonemason from performing his or her work would likely prevent them from performing most of the jobs that he or she would qualify for outside of the stonemason field.
For example, if a stonemason suffers a back injury that prevents them from performing their job duties, they may begin to look for work elsewhere. However, because they are only trained in doing highly-skilled physical labor, their disability would likely prevent them from performing all of the other jobs they would qualify for. This becomes an increasingly serious concern the older a stonemason becomes. For example, a stonemason who is fresh in the field and only 25 years old may be able to learn new skills and pursue a new career that is not as physically taxing. However, a seasoned stonemason who is fifty years old is less likely to adjust to a career in a new field.
If you have become disabled as a stonemason and are unable to learn the skills that would be required for a career that would accommodate your disability, it is important that you apply for Social Security Disability benefits as soon as possible. Chances are that you will need financial assistance from the SSA as soon as possible if you are unable to work. The longer you wait to apply for Social Security Disability benefits, the longer it will be before you can obtain the financial assistance you need.
Applying for Social Security Disability as a Stonemason
When a stonemason is applying for Social Security Disability benefits, the Social Security Administration will look at a number of different factors before approving or denying the disability claim. The age of the stonemason will be considered, as will the individual's residual functional work capacity. For example, a 25 year old stonemason who is suffering a back injury is less likely to be approved for disability benefits than a 50 year old stonemason who is suffering from the same disability. If the SSA determines that there is indeed sufficient residual functional work capacity (an ability to work) and retraining for a new vocation is possible, then the Social Security Disability Claim will be denied.
If you have suffered an injury that has prevented you from continuing your career as a stonemason and you are unable to perform any other type of work in the national economy, then you are entitled to Social Security Disability benefits. Proving this fact to the Social Security Administration, however, is another matter entirely. In order to do this, you may need to enlist the services of a qualified Social Security Disability advocate or attorney.
A disability advocate or attorney will help you complete your disability application in such a way that the SSA is very clear on how your condition impacts your ability to perform any type of work activity. If, for some reason, your initial disability claim is denied by the Social Security Administration, the professional you are working with can represent you through the disability appeal process. Statistics show that applicants who hire legal representation to assist them in a disability appeal are more likely to be awarded benefits than applicants who choose to represent themselves.