In my experience as Connecticut and Massachusetts Social Security Lawyer, I have noticed that one of the most common mistakes made by SSI or SSDI claimants is that they fail to recognize the importance that their "work history" plays in the disability determination process. It is fair to say that many Claimants focus mostly on their medical conditions and neglect to provide the Social Security Administration with a precise description of the work that they performed prior to becoming disabled.
Any competent Social Security Disability Lawyer knows how important it is to take some time in completing the SSA's Work History Report. This report can be made using Social Security Form 3369 or by completing the electronic "Adult Disability and Work History Report" provided in SSA.gov. If you need help with this form, you should contact a Social Security Lawyer who handles these types of cases on a regular basis. Every week, my Connecticut and Massachusetts office helps 3 to 4 claimants complete these forms.
A well done Work History Report is important for three main reasons:
1. This work history report will assist the Social Security Administration understand how your injury or illness affects your ability to do the work that you performed in the past. Social Security focuses on the work that you performed on the 15 years prior to the date when you became disabled. In the report, it is important to describe the specific physical requirements of the jobs that you held during these 15 years.
2. This report also helps Social Security determine whether you will be able to transfer your skills to any new type of work that you have not performed in the past 15 years. For this reason, you must also explain the level of skills that were required at your past jobs.
3. A good work record enhances your credibility as a Claimant! Pursuant to Social Security Disability Rules, a Claimant who worked consistently before becoming disabled must be given more credibility than a claimant who was never able to stay employed for a considerable period of time. When assessing a claimant’s pain and subjective symptoms, it is entirely appropriate to consider his or her prior work record. See 20 C.F.R. 404.1529(c)(3) and Social Security Ruling 96-7. The Claimant with an excellent work history are entitled to a favorable credibility inference.