Overview of Disability

Disability Back Pay

Disability Requirements

Disability Applications

Disability Advice Tips

How long do cases take?

How to win Disability

SSD Mistakes to avoid

Disability for Mental

What if you get denied?

How to file Appeals

Disability through SSA

SSI Disability Benefits

Disability for Children

How do I qualify for it?

Working and Disability

Disability Award Notice

Disability Lawyer Q&A

Disability Conditions List

What is a disability?

Your Medical Evidence

Filing for your Disability

Disability Eligibility

SSD SSI Definitions

Recent Questions

SSDRC Disability Blog

You Must Give Social Security Disability Your Work History When You Apply

Although Social Security has access to your work history as far as where you have worked and how much you have earned, if you are applying for disability you must supply them with a bit more information for the purpose of evaluating the vocational aspects of your claim.

Social Security Disability (SSD) is awarded to those with physical or mental conditions that prevent them from performing past work (any job held by the applicant within the past 15 years) or any other work to which they may be suited.

Before a disability examiner can make a decision on a claim, he must know not just where the applicant has worked, but the particular duties associated with his or her past employment positions. In this way a disability examiner can evaluate and classify the types of work an applicant is capable of performing, and use this information to determine if there is any job the applicant may be capable of doing, despite limitations imposed by his or her impairment(s).

Some people are awarded disability because their medical records indicate they meet a particular listing in the blue book (the official Social Security Administration [SSA] guide to the impairments it recognizes as “disabling” in nature); however, the majority of those applying for disability do not meet a listing.

Those who do not meet a listing in the blue book can still collect disability payments in the form of a “medical vocational allowance.” Medical vocational allowances are given to those who, though they do not meet an official listing, are still judged to be severely impaired and thus incapable of earning a substantial living.

The work history should not be viewed as an inconvenience, but an opportunity. In supplying a complete work history to the disability examiner, the applicant has an opportunity to spell out exactly what skills he has employed in the past rather than leaving it up to the disability examiner to guess at what he is capable of doing.

Since the majority of disability denials are based on an examiner’s belief that, although the claimant is impaired, he could still perform some type of past work or other work, it is in your best interest to be as specific as possible in the work history you submit to Social Security (form SSA-3369). Be sure to comply with any additional requests for information as failure to do so could mean a denial based on failure to cooperate with the examiner deciding your claim.

Those who are deemed capable of performing a past job or who appear to have the ability to perform other work despite their physical or mental limitations will be denied benefits. In general, those who are younger, more educated, or have acquired job skills that are in demand in today’s job market are less likely to be awarded disability payments.

Return to:  Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions

Related pages:

Strengthening your disability case by providing the details of your work history
What does Social Security Disability Need to Know about your Work History and Jobs?
You Must Give Social Security Disability Your Work History When You Apply
Will Social Security Decide That I can go Back to My Old Job?
What does social security mean by past work?
What does social security mean by other work?
For Social Security Disability and SSI, What Does It Mean When A person Can Only Do Sedentary Work?
How does Social Security Disability Decide if you can Work or Not?
Social Security Disability Waiver of Overpayment

Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions and in these subsections:

Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits | FAQ on Disability Claim Representation | Info about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | FAQ on Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The SSD SSI Decision Process and what gets taken into consideration | Disability hearings before Judges | Medical exams for disability claims | Applying for Disability in various states | Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers | Applying for Disability in North Carolina | Recent articles and answers to questions about SSD and SSI

These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.

How to Apply for Disability - What medical conditions can you apply and qualify for?
Applying for Disability - How long does it take to get Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?
What happens if I file a disability application and it is denied by a disability examiner or Judge?
How to Prove you are disabled and qualify to win disability benefits
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition or impairment?
Social Security Disability Back pay and How Long it Takes to Qualify for it and receive it
Social Security Disability SSI - Eligibility Requirements and Qualifications Criteria