Social Security Disability and my past work performance

Will Social Security consult previous employers to inquire about impairments to my job performance?

On the majority of disability claims, its very unlikely that a disability examiner will actually contact any of your previous employers. It does happen occasionally, but even when it does it is often to simply get a description of a claimant's job duties and the dates they were employed.

However, there are cases in which a disability examiner will ask about a claimant's work performance or whether or not they received what are known as special considerations or subsidy from the employer in question.

The reason for asking this is to determine whether or not an individual was essentially in a position of protected employment, making the job not truly competitive employment. An example of this type of hiring might include situations in which a person with physical or mental limitations is employed in a job but rather than be subjected to all the duties or responsibilities that ordinarily go along with the job are given special considerations.

If special considerations are thought to have existed for a job in a claimant's relevant work history, Social Security may choose to verify those alleged special considerations or subsidy with the employer. They may call the employer or mail them a subsidy questionnaire to complete. This questionnaire allows the employer to address special considerations and the worth of the work you the claimant was performing for them. Depending on their answers, the disability claim may be sent for a medical disability determination or it may be denied for the performance of SGA-level work activity.

About the Author: Tim Moore is a former Social Security Disability Examiner in North Carolina, has been interviewed by the NY Times and the LA Times on the disability system, and is an Accredited Disability Representative (ADR) in North Carolina. For assistance on a disability application or Appeal in NC, click here.

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