being let goBeing let go from a job can be a harsh reality that none of us likes to face. But if, due to no fault of your own, you are disabled and your employment is terminated—maybe even on more than one occasion— because a physical or mental impairment makes working impossible, it supports your argument that you are unable to work and you need disability benefits. Proof of multiple job losses, or even one job loss, demonstrates that you have made the effort to work, but were unable to continue due to your impairment. This can be persuasive evidence to a Social Security Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) who will be deciding the merits of your case at a disability benefits appeal hearing.

Being Let Go Can Be Strong Supporting Evidence

When applying for Social Security disability benefits it is not enough to say you are disabled. It is not even enough to have your doctor say you are disabled. In the final analysis, the term “disabled” in and of itself doesn’t really mean much to the Social Security Administration (SSA). You have to prove that your medical condition (or combination of conditions) prevents you from sustaining employment. Although the most important evidence to support your claim is accurate and complete medical records from doctors, clinics, and hospitals to determine how severe your physical or mental condition is, job losses due to an impairment can be strong supporting evidence for your case.

Oftentimes we find that clients will say they were “laid off” rather than acknowledging that they were fired. This hedging of the truth is understandable. We all have our pride. However, when Ford eliminates 1,000 jobs that is a layoff, but if you are let go because you can’t keep up with your employer’s requirements that is a job termination. Facing this reality and describing your situation accurately will improve your odds of winning disability benefits.

Keep a "Job Journal"

If you are struggling to hold onto a job due to a qualifying physical or mental impairment, we strongly recommend that you keep a “job journal”. In your journal—which can be kept on your computer or even in a simple notebook—keep a record of your employment including things like written warnings for absences, mistakes, and other workplace infractions in addition to the dates and details of terminations.

Our Disability Attorneys Are in Your Corner

If you are considering applying for disability benefits for any impairment that prevents you from being able to get and hold a job, our advice is to keep a written record and apply for benefits as early as you can. If you want a free evaluation of your disability case, call or email the Social Security disability attorneys at Cuddigan Law.

Sean D. Cuddigan
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SSA and VA Disability Attorney in Omaha, Nebraska
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