Work History Affects Your Social Security Disability Claim

The Social Security Administration reviews an individual’s work history and tasks performed on the job before making a determination that the individual is unable to return to work. Many applicants receive letters denying them of Social Security benefits because they did not fill out their work history properly or the information provided suggests they are able to meet the description of the work they have done in the past.

The Social Security Administration asks for titles of all your jobs in the past 15 years and they require descriptions and job duties for each title. Some individuals make the mistake of listing a job title but no detailed description of tasks performed on the job, this makes it even easier for the SSA to deny a claim.

Here are a few items to write down in detail when compiling a work history list:

  • Dates worked, including month and year.
  • Main responsibilities of your job(s) and main tasks performed.
  • Number of hours a day worked per week.
  • Rate of pay received, list if it is by hour or salary.
  • All tools, machines and equipment used to perform tasks.
  • Knowledge, skills and abilities required by the job title. List any certifications or training received that directly relate to the job title.
  • Extend or supervision and amount of independent judgment used.
  • Objects that you had to lift and carry, and approximately how much those object weighed.
  • How much you had to sit, stand, climb, stoop, kneel, walk, crouch or crawl.
  • How you used your arms, hand and legs.
  • Speaking, hearing and vision requirements of your job tasks, this includes any safety precautions while on the job.
  • Environmental conditions and hazards of your workplace.

Besides a detailed work history, the SSA will ask about how and when your medical condition started affecting your work. When did you become unable to perform duties and tasks assigned and if this was directly caused by your medical condition?


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