Your past employment is a significant part of your Social Security (SS) disability claim. A claims agent scrutinizes your job history before deciding whether you qualify for benefits. job history and SSDI benefits

The Social Security Administration (SSA) uses this information because it compares the types of work you were able to do previously against your medical condition, injury, or illness and how it affected your ability to do those jobs now. 

Understanding How Past Work Is Relevant

To determine if you’re disabled, the SSA typically looks at paid work you did in the last 15 years that involved productive mental and physical activities. If the SSA determines this job history is relevant, it compares your ability to work with:

  • The tasks, activities, and duties you performed in any of those past, relevant jobs.
  • How the work you performed in those jobs is typically done in the “national economy.”

You must provide the SSA with a complete and detailed account of your job history so the agency can make these comparisons. Once the SSA evaluates your past work duties and your disabling medical condition, it decides eligibility in three ways:

  • You’ll be denied benefits if the SSA determines you don't have a disability because you can still do your past work tasks as you did in the past.
  • You'll be denied benefits if the SSA determines you can do past work in the way the national economy performs it.
  • You may be considered for benefits if the SSA decides you’re not mentally or physically capable of doing any of your past relevant work tasks or how it's done in the national economy. However, to make this determination, the SSA moves on to the final step in the disability process: determining if you can adjust to work you haven’t done before, considering your age, education, and job experience.

Call Cuddigan Law

Filling out the work history portion of your Social Security Disability claim can be tedious and challenging. You may feel uncertain about what to include on your application and which details are the most important.

Contact a skilled SS disability benefits attorney who can help. Call Cuddigan Law for a free, over-the-phone evaluation. 


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