Understanding the Impact of Job History
How is my past work relevant?
Social Security Disability is not a means tested program, and the amount you receive in benefits is not based on your needs but rather on the amount of work you have performed at a job that was covered by the program. Your job history will have a major effect on your payment amount, as well as determining whether you will be covered by
Social Security Disability Insurance.
During the review of your application, Disability Determination Services will study your work history in detail. If it appears that you could return to a previous job and still make an acceptable income, your claim will be denied. Past relevant work is any employment that you held within the last 15 years, which is capable of producing substantial gain and which you performed for a long enough period to become proficient. We will interview you during the application process to discover any relevant details about the position that may not appear on the job description, such as extended periods of standing or heavy lifting.
Your previous work history is also relevant in determining the amount you will receive as your monthly benefit. The payment is calculated based on your average lifetime income, so individuals who earn more money will receive a larger benefit. It is also necessary to demonstrate that you have worked long enough at a job that was covered by Social Security to earn sufficient work credits to qualify. The number of credits required varies with the age of the applicant.
Come to Disability Action Advocates as early as possible when you are seeking benefits, so that we can help you accurately present your history of employment and avoid an unnecessary refusal of your application. By retaining the services of an experienced attorney, you can markedly improve your chances of receiving benefits.