Past Job Skills And SSDI: What To Know

When you are no longer able to work at your job, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) can help. The Social Security Administration (SSA), a government agency, pays those who cannot work a monthly payment. This benefit is difficult to get and it can take a long time for applications to be processed. In addition to proving that you cannot work at your most recent job, you must also show that you cannot do some other jobs in your past work history. Read on to find out more about this requirement that frequently causes applicants to be denied.

Why Your Work History Matters to the SSA

When it comes to proving that you have a medical or mental condition making it impossible to work there are two main things applicants must prove. They first must show that they are unable to work at their most recent job. That is the position they had to quit because of their current medical condition. Once the SSA has determined that the applicant can no longer work at that job, things move on to other jobs the applicant might be able to do.

For example, if your most-recent job was stocking grocery store shelves, you may qualify for benefits if you can show that your back injury makes it impossible to do that work anymore. Before you became a stocker, however, you might have been a cashier. The SSA will look at the cashier position and any other jobs you held prior to being a stocker to find out if you can do those jobs. If they find that you can do jobs from your work history, your benefits could be denied.

How Past Jobs Are Evaluated

Just having worked at a job in the past doesn't mean you can do that job now, however. The SSA will evaluate several aspects of the job, like:

  • The length of time you held the job.
  • How many hours a day you were capable of doing the job.
  • How much money you earned while performing the work.

Past Jobs and the Appeal Hearing

In most cases, your past jobs are brought up at the appeal hearing. The administrative law judge presiding over the hearing will question you about past jobs and what skills you used. This is when it's vital that applicants have a Social Security lawyer by their side at the hearing to explain why you are not capable of doing those past jobs due to your condition, availability, and location of the job, etc. In most cases, jobs you used to do are completely irrelevant to your current situation.

Speak to a Social Security lawyer, like Attorney John B. Martin Law Offices, about your denial and get the benefits you need.