People in the Portland area who are not able to work due to health issues might think that being a successful candidate for Social Security disability benefits means having some kind of illness or disability unrelated to their job. However, this is not necessarily so. Many people who receive Social Security disability benefits do so because they have been injured or gotten sick as a result of their professions.
A recent story profiled a woman whose health deteriorated after she worked for several years at a furniture plant. The woman’s job was to glue together foam cushions that are used in furniture that is sold all around the country under various brand names. The spray glue that the woman used contains a chemical called n-propyl bromide that is known to be a health hazard.
Despite its known risks, the chemical is used in many manufacturing applications around the country in places like auto repair shops and dry cleaners. Fumes from the glue, if inhaled, can cause nerve damage to people who are exposed for extended periods of time.
This includes the woman in the story, who worked at the furniture plant for about five years. She now has severe damage to her nerve endings in one of her legs; she walks with a noticeable limp and is not able to sit or stand for more than 20 minutes at a time without experiencing severe pain.
This is just the sort of situation that the Social Security disability program is meant for: people who are unable to work because of physical limitations. People in Oregon who are considering applying for SSD benefits could find it useful to speak with an attorney who practices in this area.
Source: The New York Times, “As OSHA Emphasizes Safety, Long-Term Health Risks Fester,” Ian Urbina, March 30, 2013