What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?
How do you Win Benefits under Social Security Disability or SSI?
If I am determined disabled, how far back will Social Security pay benefits?
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition?
What Can I Do to Improve My Chances of Winning Disability Benefits
Common Mistakes after Receiving a Denial of Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits
How to File for Disability - Tips for Filing
If You Get Approved For SSDI Will You Also Get Medicare?
How much does a Social Security disability attorney get paid?
Social Security Disability SSI Criteria and the Evaluation Process
How long does it take to be approved for SSI or Social Security disability?
What do you Need to Prove to Qualify for Disability Benefits?
Social Security Disability SSI and Fibromyalgia
Social Security Disability SSI and Degenerative Disc Disease
Can I Qualify For Disability and Receive Benefits based on Depression?
Answers to questions about SSD and SSI disability
What Disabilities Qualify for SSI and Social Security Disability Benefits?
Social Security Disability Status
Social Security Disability Tips — how a claim gets worked on
Social Security Disability, SSI Disability - Terms, Definitions, Concepts
What Does Social Security Disability and SSI Include As Your Past Work?
How to prove you are disabled
and win disability benefits
The Social Security definition of past relevant work is any work that you have done in the past fifteen years that was performed at the SGA, or substantial gainful activity level, that you worked at for at least three months, and during which you had time to learn the job. When making their disability decision, Social Security can include as past relevant work any job that satisfies this criteria and which lasted three months or more.
When a disability examiner determines whether or not you are able to perform any of your past relevant work, they generally ask you to complete a detailed work history that includes all the job requirements for the job as you performed them. Disability examiners may use in-house vocational experts or other resources such as the “Dictionary of Occupational Titles” published by the Department of Labor to provide vocational input and evidence for your case.
Vocational evidence may help the disability examiner evaluate the accuracy of your description of your past work. Keep in mind that disability examiners are going to try to make their decision based upon the job as it is performed in the national economy; however an administrative law judge may give more weight to your description of your job.
Sometimes, vocational evidence helps an individual win their disability benefits and sometimes it does not. If you are asked to describe your past work, you should describe it as you performed it. Be sure to give complete and thorough answers to questions about the mental and physical requirements and your ability to perform them. It may mean the difference between being approved or denied disability benefits.
If you are found capable of working a past job, your disability claim will be denied. If the disability examiner is able to determine that you are not able to perform any past work, they have to determine if you are able to do any other kind of work when you consider the limitations of your disablings conditions, your education, the transferability of your job skills, and your age. If they find that you cannot do any other type of work you may be eligible for disability benefits. The jobs included in your past work and your ability to perform the demands the work are integral to the disability determinations process.
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Individual Questions and Answers
SSD and SSI are Federal Programs
The title II Social Security Disability and title 16 SSI Disability programs operate under federal guidelines and, therefore, the program requirements--medical and non-medical--apply to all states:
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming
Recent approval and denial statistics for various states can be viewed here:
Social Security Disability, SSI Approval and Denial Statistics by state
Special Section: Disability Lawyers and unnecessary claim denials