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

Social Security Disability and the Job that You Worked

When you file for disability in either the social security disability or SSI program, you will be asked to provide a record of your work history. Why is this done? The reason is simple. Social security will use your work history information, along with your medical history information, to determine if you have the ability to go back to work, either at a job you have done in the past, or doing some other type of work.

Is the social security disability program able to pull up a list of your jobs, or are they completely dependent on you, the claimant, to supply your work history information? Most people would be surprised to learn that, when a disability claim is being on, the disability examiner (the person who makes the decision on your case) is entirely dependent on the information that has been supplied by the claimant.

Not surprisingly, many individuals who file for disability think that their claim will be decided completely on the basis of their medical records. But this is only half correct. The decision is actually made on the basis of work records and medical records. Why? Because social security disability and SSI disability decisions are made on the basis of whether or not you have a severe impairment that will last at least 12 months and which will prevent you from working and earning a substantial and gainful income.

In determining whether or not a person can work, the decision-maker on a disability claim (either a disability examiner or, at the hearing level, a federal judge) will compare their remaining functional capabilities to the demands of their past work (jobs they may have worked in the fifteen years prior to becoming disabled) and the demands of certain types of other work that they might be able to do. If they no longer have the functional capacity to do their past work or some form of other work, the determination will be made that they are disabled.

How does social security decide what an individual's remaining functional capabilities are? By reading and evaluating their medical records. In doing this, the disability examiner or judge can give the claimant what is known as an RFC, or residual functional capacity, rating. This is a rating of what they can still do, and no longer do (for example, an RFC rating will explain how long a person can sit or stand, how much they can lift, whether or not they can stoop or crouch, etc).

The RFC rating is measured against the functional requirements of the claimant's past jobs and other jobs that they might be able to perform. If their functional capabilities are less than the requirements of these jobs, they will be detemined to be disabled.

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

Related pages:

Will Social Security Decide That I can go Back to My Old Job?
Can You Apply For Disability Benefits When You Lose Your Job?
Social Security Disability and the Job that You Worked
Will You Get Social Security Disability Benefits If You Cannot Work Your Old Job?
Is Receiving Social Security Disability Based On Whether I Can Do My Current or Last Job?
Does social security contact your former work employers when you file for disability?
What is the difference between receiving back pay for SSD and SSI?
Proving you are disabled for Social Security Disability with older work credits

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.

Filing for disability - How to file for SSD or SSI and the Information that is needed by Social Security
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