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How can work experience impact a Social Security Disability case?

On Behalf of | Apr 28, 2022 | Social Security Disability Benefits

Californians who are injured or suffer from an illness or condition and are unable to work at the same type of job they did before might seek Social Security Disability benefits. Understanding the process to receive these benefits can be confusing, especially when the person’s work experience comes under scrutiny. Some people who apply for disability are deemed able to do other types of work. That can influence the outcome of their claim. Others have worked the same category of labor intensive job for many years and are limited in their education and other skills. This too could play a role. It is vital to know the details of how this is assessed.

Work experience and information about work

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has regulations regarding a person’s work experience in a disability claim. For work experience, the SSA will assess what the person can do based on their work over the previous 15 years, the amount of time it took to learn the job and if it constituted substantial gainful activity. The level of skill it took to do the job will be factored in when determining if the skills can transfer to other types of work.

If a person had a job that consisted of lifting, carrying and other physically demanding activities while they had a high school education, they may not be viewed as capable to do other jobs in the current market. Their work was based on physical fitness that has been hindered or outright eliminated by their injury or condition.

The SSA might also want to know about the kind of work the person did. They can ask the employer, family members, colleagues and anyone else who can provide a perspective. There are some cases where a person who cannot do the same work they did in the 15 years before the claim will be judged as able to do another kind of work. If the person was a construction worker but had education in, for example, computers, this might be transferred and other less strenuous work could be appropriate. Every situation will be gauged on its own merits and the worker’s history.

With disability claims, every aspect must be considered and advice can be key

Social Security Disability cases frequently hinge on small factors and a person’s work experience and ability to do other types of work can be crucial. This issue does not necessarily mean a person will have their claim denied, but it could be essential to the case. From the outset, these and other basic considerations should be known and addressed. For advice, it is useful to have professional guidance to cover all the bases.