The SSA work history report is one of the most important documents you’ll complete when applying for Social Security Disability benefits. Your answers on the SSA work history report establish a record of past work. The report also sets the stage for Social Security’s disability examiners to determine your ability to perform future work.
What is the SSA Work History Report?
The SSA work history report is a document individuals complete when applying for disability benefits. This form is required for both the work-based Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program and the need-based Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program.
The information you complete on the work history report speaks to your illnesses, injuries and other medical impairments. Similarly, the report contains important information about the kinds of work you are qualified to perform. SSA will use your past work experience as a baseline to determine what work you can perform in the future.
When you list prior work experiences, SSA will ask about the types of skills needed to perform the work. They will also ask you outline the physical AND mental requirements of each job. The SSA uses a 15-year history of past work experience, if available, to make their decision.
The SSA work history report is voluntary, but claimants who fail to complete the form seriously lessen their chances of a successful decision.
How to Answer the Social Security Disability Work History Report
The SSA work history report is eight pages long. The first page asks for basic information like your name, Social Security number and your contact information. Pages two through seven require you to list the jobs you’ve worked in the last 15 years and answer some basic questions about those jobs. The last page of the report is a comments section where you can add additional information as you deem appropriate.
If you’re working with a disability lawyer, they will guide you and answer any questions you have in terms of completing the work history form. But, if you’re completing the form alone, keep the following tips in mind:
1 – Answer every question with your most difficult days in mind. It’s natural for us to minimize our challenges and put our best foot forward, particularly where work is concerned. But this approach won’t help you on the work history report. Instead, think about the most difficult requirements you faced in each job, even if those weren’t daily tasks, and answer the questions with those tasks in mind.
2 – Be thorough when describing the job’s mental and physical requirements. Claimants living with severe mental impairments often fail to thoroughly outline the mental requirements of past work. This is a missed opportunity particularly when sedentary work is involved. If you have trouble maintaining concentration, staying on-task, or taking direction from others, you need to record those challenges on the form.
Why is the SSA Work History Report Important?
Submitting a thorough and complete work history report sets the stage for every successful disability claim. Disability examiners rely on this information at every stage of the process to determine first, if you can work and second, what work is available to you that you are qualified to perform.
Individuals should complete the form with thoughtful detail and effectively outline the requirements of their past work. In doing so, they improve their chances for a successful decision.
Disability Lawyers in Greensboro, NC
This content was provided by the Greensboro Social Security Disability Attorneys at Collins Price, PLLC. Our experienced disability lawyers provide clients seeking disability benefits with professional and impactful legal representation. If you are applying for or appealing a denied disability claim for SSDI or SSI benefits, contact us today for a free consultation. There is no obligation to hire our firm and no fee for our services if you don’t win your claim.