Why Does SSA Need Information About My Past Work?
When you apply for Social Security Disability the Social Security Administration (SSA) actually needs information from the last 15 years that a person worked to make their disability determinations. The process is a bit complicated. If Social Security makes a determination that a person can do any type of “relevant” work from their past 15 years of work, then that person is not disabled under SSA’s rules. “Relevant” work mean the person has worked at that job long enough to have learned how to do that job. SSA uses information from the US Department of Labor to determine how long a person has to work at a job to have learned the job. For example, work as a surgeon may need to have lasted at least ten years for Social Security to consider it “relevant.” So if person has only 3 years experience as a surgeon, Social Security would not be able to determine this person has the ability to return to work as a surgeon by its rules. When Social Security is working on a determination of disability, the decision maker will review the 15 year time period and all jobs worked during that time. They will then determine which jobs are “past relevant work.” Those “past relevant work” jobs can then potentially factor in to the disability determination. While it can be time consuming to furnish Social Security with the information on your past 15 years of work, they actually do need that information in making their disability determination in your case.
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