Social Security Disability Insurance
Written by: Bruce L. Weider | 2.09.2024

The Impact Of Work History Report For Social Security Disability Benefits

When adults who used to work become disabled, their eligibility for Social Security disability benefits may be determined in part by their work history. Therefore, they must complete a Work History Report. Completion of the report helps the Social Security Administration SSA review how the disability affects your ability to handle the tasks related to the position an individual held at the onset of the disabling condition. The Social Security disability benefits application is long, and can be complex. Many applicants feel a significant amount of stress while trying to complete it. However, completing the form correctly is crucial to demonstrating eligibility for the monthly payments disabled individuals may need. Learn more about how to complete a Work History Report for Social Security disability benefits by speaking with an experienced lawyer at Bruce L. Weider, PC. Call (734) 485-0535 today to schedule your consultation. 

Why Does Disability Ask for Work History?

A work history report for Social Security disability informs the Social security Administration (SSA) about the type of work the applicant did prior to becoming disabled. The report typically also includes information related to the applicant’s skills and the physical or mental impairments, resulting from their condition, that impact their ability to fulfill essential job requirements. The Social Security Administration requires detailed information about an individual’s previous 15 years of employment to form a clear picture and determine whether the applicant can still handle their job duties. According to SSA guidelines, people are not totally disabled and eligible to receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits unless the injuries or illness prevent them from handling their job duties, even if the physical or mental demands of their job are adjusted to account for their disability. 

How Does Work History Affect Social Security Benefits? 

Having a disability can put a significant monetary strain on finances, preventing people from earning the salary they once made. When applying for disability benefits, completing the paperwork, including the Work History Report, is essential to ensure the previous income is considered for disability payments. Both the previous job duties and the wage earned for them must be clear to the reviewer. 

Who Needs To Complete a Work History Report? 

Applicants applying for Social Security Disability benefits based on their work history must complete the Work History Report. The SSA will only approve disability payments for those who can no longer handle their work duties because of physical or mental disabilities. Be sure to complete each section entirely and answer the questions as thoroughly as possible. That means providing information about lifting and carrying weight, equipment, walking, bending, squatting, etc. 

How Do You Answer a Work History Report for Disability?

The applicant must prove that their medical condition prevents them from handling the responsibilities required for their most recent positions. The report goes back 15 years. Some of the detailed information that the applicant must provide on the report includes the following: 

  • Each company's names, types of business, and addresses for each employer for the last 15 years 
  • Job titles for each position, and if they held more than one position, they should include that information
  • Exact dates, meaning the first and last days of employment for each job 
  • Pay rate and hours worked for each employer 
  • Physical and mental demands for each employer 
  • Tools, machinery, and equipment needed, and skills required for each position 
  • Detailed reason for leaving each job 

According to the Michigan Public School Employees' Retirement System, Social Security disability insurance is a federal program that gives monthly payments to people who previously worked. However, their disabilities make them unable to continue handling the tasks required for their position. A skilled lawyer at Bruce L. Weider, PC, could answer questions about the Work History Report For Social Security disability. 

General Tips for Completing the Work History Report

Like most kinds of paperwork, the work history report for Social Security disability can be confusing to fill out. Some tips for completing the work history report include the following: 

  • Make a note of the number of hours each position requires the applicant to stand, sit, or walk, as well as any other requirements for physical stamina or mobility
  • Include specific details about the particular knowledge, tools, and skills needed for each position
  • Combine similar positions into a single entry rather than listing each one separately 
  • Use precise measurements and numbers in describing the weights lifted and carried on a daily basis in the course of normal job duties

Common Mistakes To Avoid When Filling Out the Work History Report 

Some of the common mistakes to avoid when filling out the work history report include the following: 

  • Providing an incomplete employment history and omitting jobs 
  • Forgetting to double-check information and providing incorrect data, such as employment dates 
  • Providing a lack of information about the job and necessary responsibilities 
  • Not enough information about the reasons for leaving positions 

Some submit their resume for the work history portion of the application, resulting in missing details. Resumes do not address the mental and physical requirements to complete job duties, and it is always best to complete the form with as much information as possible. 

The Importance of Accuracy in Work History Reports

Many applicants submit applications stating they were managers when that was only a tiny percentage of the time they worked for the business. When someone worked for a company for ten years and was a manager for one of those years, they should not list “manager” as the only position they held for the employer. That can cause confusion and may be taken as an attempt to paint an unrealistic picture of past earnings, especially if the managerial position paid significantly more than other positions held at the same company. Another portion of the report that many find challenging is answering questions about the time it takes to complete each task during the day. When completing this portion, it is crucial to ensure that each section adds up to one workday, or there could be problems.

Call an Experienced Social Security Disability Attorney in Michigan Today 

Many do not realize how vital their work history is when applying for Social Security disability benefits. The form does not ask specific questions about the mental and physical requirements of the job and which skills were required. Therefore, the applicant must complete the form, providing that information for the SSA to use in making its decision. A detailed and accurate work history report is essential for the claim because it allows the applicant to share important information about their previous job duties and why the disability limits their ability to complete necessary job-related tasks. The applicant should give clear explanations of the previous work to show the impact their condition has had on their ability to fulfill essential job responsibilities. Find out more about the importance of completing a Work History Report for Social Security disability properly by calling a seasoned lawyer at Bruce L. Weider, PC, at (734) 485-0535.

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