New England Nursing Home Workers May Qualify for Social Security Disability

Nursing Home Worker With ResidentsNursing home employees work hard to care for people who are older or disabled and who can’t safely live on their own, but what happens when a nursing home worker becomes disabled? Many nursing home workers and their families are left wondering how they will make ends meet when a disabled nursing home worker can’t work.

Social Security disability may be an option for disabled workers who qualify for benefits.

Social Security Disability Eligibility for Nursing Home Workers

Regardless of occupation, a worker is eligible for Social Security disability if the worker:

  • Can no longer do their job because of a disability
  • Can no longer do any other job because of a disability
  • Is expected to be disabled for at least 12 months, or the disability is expected to cause death
  • Has earned enough work credits to qualify for Social Security disability

The Social Security Administration will seek the answers to these questions to determine if you are disabled and eligible for benefits:

  • Are you working?
  • Is your condition severe, and does it interfere with your ability to work?
  • Is your condition included in the Blue Book Listing of Impairments?
  • Can you do any work you used to do?
  • Can you do any other kind of work?
  • How long did you work and pay into the Social Security system?

It’s essential that you fill out your Social Security disability application honestly, accurately, and in an easily understandable way so that you get the benefits you’ve earned.

Types of Disabilities That Interfere with Nursing Home Work

Nursing home workers, like all workers, don’t need to be hurt on the job to qualify for Social Security disability. They may qualify for benefits because of any disability that keeps them from working for at least 12 months or is expected to cause their deaths.

Since the disability must prevent nursing home workers from doing their jobs, it is useful to consider common nursing home worker job responsibilities and disabilities that may interfere with those responsibilities. For example, nursing home jobs often require:

  • Heavy lifting. Nursing home staff often have to lift patients or move heavy equipment such as wheelchairs and beds. Musculoskeletal system disorders and other disabilities may make it impossible for nursing home staff members to do the heavy lifting the job requires.
  • Patience. Nursing home work may be sad and frustrating, as well as rewarding. Nursing home workers with mental disorders, including but not limited to anxiety, depression, and trauma-related disorders, may be unable to work patiently with nursing home residents.
  • Concentration. Attention to detail is a critical skill for nursing home workers. Nursing home workers often need to monitor what residents eat and drink, keep track of residents’ medications, and watch for subtle but dangerous signs of a change in residents’ health. Mental disorders and neurological disorders may interfere with a nursing home worker’s concentration and problem-solving abilities.

Many positions also require other specific physical and emotional skills.

Two Things to Do Before Applying for Social Security Disability

You couldn’t prevent your disability, and you can’t control what happens in the future. However, you can set yourself up for success with a potential Social Security disability claim by:

  • Getting medical care. The Social Security Administration requires reliable medical evidence to establish any disability. While medical evidence is required for all disabilities, the specific medical evidence varies depending on your unique disability. The required medical evidence may include diagnostic test results and medical treatment notes, for example.
  • Consulting an experienced New England Social Security disability lawyer. The majority of initial Social Security disability applications are denied, but many of the denials are then overturned on appeal. You can help prevent this unnecessary delay and aggravation by working with an experienced disability lawyer.

We encourage you to contact our Boston-area Social Security disability attorneys today for a free phone screening to determine whether you may be eligible for Social Security disability benefits and to learn more about why you can afford to hire a Social Security disability lawyer.

 

John L. Keefe
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Founding Attorney, Massachusetts Social Security Disability Lawyer