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The Importance of Social Security Disability History on Work

by Ryan Kinnar5 min read
social security disability history - it's important

There are definitely lots of people who apply for Social Security disability benefits (SSDI) and do not even realize the importance of work history. In reality, it actually increases their chances of getting awarded benefits. SSDI [and Supplemental Security Income (SSI), too] is given to individuals who have severe and/or ongoing medical condition that prohibits them from performing their work. The said Social Security Disability history is very critical in determining a claimant’s ability to maintain a gainful employment.



Importance of Past Jobs and Skills in Social Security Disability History

The SSA’s disability decisions are largely based on two things: First one is information that contains the person’s medical records, and the second one being his/her social security disability history. After finding that a disability claimant does not have with him/her a medical condition that can be deemed so severe it qualifies in the official impairment listing of the SSA, the Social Security disability insurance examiner will move onto the next step in the review. Sometimes with the help of a medical consultant, the aforementioned examiner will review the claimant’s medical records in order to determine his/her RFC or also known as residual functional capacity. The latter is an assessment that strategically specifies activities that the applicant may or may not perform due to his/her medical impairment. This is where the examiner moves to analyze whether the claimant’s RFC allows him/her to return to his/her prior work in the past 15 years or even take on a new one based on relevant skills.


The reason you should check Social Security Disability History on Work
Why does Social Security Disability History on Work matter?


Does The RFC Allow Returning To Past Work?

The examiner will look carefully at the requirements of your past jobs, enabling him/her to identify which one should the claimant return to. But for this analysis to be successful, the examiner has to have access to the claimant’s prior work, something that the SSA requires upon application. Otherwise, the examiner will not be able to determine the right work to return to, let alone confirm if the claimant’s impairment precludes him/her from doing the job. If the examiner, in some ways, has no way of knowing the true requirements of the prior work, he/she will think that the claimant is able to do the job when it is the other way around. For example, if the claimant’s job requires him to occasionally lift 50 pounds and he/she has been given a “light RFC” because of a back injury, the examiner must be able to identify that the claimant does not need to go back. As a result, the SSA may deny benefits base on that analysis.


Other Work Related to Prior Job Skills

This is where the disability examiner will utilize the SSA’s medical-vocational guidelines, which are meant to determine if a claimant can do other work. The said guidelines basically set out a grid that announces when a claimant is disabled or not while considering factors such as age, education, prior work skills, and functional limitations. Obviously, the examiner knows and understands the type of job skills a claimant has based on his/her prior jobs. This allows the former to transfer the latter in a job on a national scale. If a detailed social security disability history does not exist, the examiner will have to guess the different tasks associated with the claimant’s prior jobs.


For example, if the claimant worked as an administrative assistant, the examiner may assume that he/she is quite familiar with scheduling and/or spreadsheet programs, among others. And based on this information, he/she could simply look at other jobs that require the same skill set and send this to the claimant directly as a reference. This also means denial of benefits as the job – hypothetically – is available. To put it simply, the claimant should not allow the examiner to just assume the different skills he/she possesses. This is especially important if he/she does not actually possess certain skills. Nonetheless, doing so may mean that the SSA will send limited job options to the claimant.



What Type of Work History Information Must Be Provided?

There is always a way for individuals who want to apply disability benefits to improve their chances of getting an approval. And yes, one of these is to simply provide a solid working history. This will be given to the SSA representative during the initial interview and, as much as possible, must contain detailed information about job duties and/or skills. More importantly, the claimant must be sure in providing accurate contact information of past supervisors or other high-ranking officers in a company. This will help the examiner in terms of getting in touch with them if he/she finds the need to do so. Even more so, these contact details will give the examiner a way to verify the job skills the claimant detailed in his/her work history. Otherwise, it would be impossible to determine which possible job options he/she could take, let alone determine if returning to previous work is ideal.


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