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How to file for disability, Filing for SSI
Disability Requirements, Disability Status
How long is the wait?, Disability Application
The Social Security List of Impairments
Qualifying for Disability, Mental Disability
Disability Lawyer Info, Disability Back Pay

What Does Social Security Disability and SSI Include As Your Past Work?



 
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.








Essential Questions

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Can you work while getting or applying for Disability?

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Receiving a Disability Award Letter

Conditions Social Security will recognize as a disability

Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI

Applying for disability in your state



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

Can you get temporary Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?

Permanent Social Security Disability

What is the difference between Social Security Disability and SSI?

Who is eligible for SSI disability?

Can I Be Eligible For SSI And Social Security Disability At The Same Time?

What makes a person eligible to receive disability benefits?

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?









For the sake of clarity, SSDRC.com is not the Social Security Administration, nor is it associated or affiliated with SSA. This site is a personal, private website that is published, edited, and maintained by former caseworker and former disability claims examiner, Tim Moore, who was interviewed by the New York Times on the topic of Social Security Disability and SSI benefits in an article entitled "The Disability Mess" and also by the Los Angeles Times on the subject of political attempts to weaken the Social Security Disability system.

The goal of the site is to provide information about how Social Security Disability and SSI work, the idea being that qualified information may help claimants pursue their claims and appeals, potentially avoiding time-consuming mistakes. If you find the information on this site helpful and believe it would be helpful to others, feel free to share links to its homepage or other pages on website resource pages, blogs, or social media. Copying of this material, however, is prohibited.

To learn more about the author, please visit the SSDRC.com homepage and view the "about this site" link near the bottom of the page.