Questions about past work when seeking Social Security disability

On Behalf of | Jun 7, 2015 | Social Security Disability

When pursuing Social Security disability benefits in Florida, some people might be confused as to what is meant by the questions asked regarding the ability to do work that was previously done. The Social Security Administration bases much of whether or not the claim will be approved or if you will be denied Social Security on information such as past work experience and if that work can be continued or restarted.

The demanding nature of the work that was done in the past will be compared to the analysis of the ability you currently have. The only work that is important from the past is that which is considered “relevant.” This means that the work must have been done within the previous 15 years before the case was brought. It must have involved a significant amount of mental and physical productivity. And it must have been done in a sufficient period for you to have learned how to do the job.

Once the decision is made that the past work is relevant, it will then be compared to your current capacity. The amount of time you did the relevant work and how the work is commonly done in the current state of the U.S. economy will be factored in. You must show that you cannot do the work as you did before. If you can do the work, you will not be found disabled.

If you are found to be unable to do the work you did in the past, the process of determining whether or not you are eligible for SSD benefits will continue onto further steps. When going through the disability process, it’s imperative to follow the SSA requirements to ensure that a fair decision based on all the accurate and available information is made. Discussing the matter with a legal professional can help you prepare for all the questions you will face.

Source:, “Step 4: Can you do the work you did previously?,” accessed on June 2, 2015


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