A month or two after you first apply, Social Security may send you a work history form to complete. This form may turn out to be very important. Or it may not matter at all. Let’s take a look:
If You Are Age 50+
Once you are over age 50, there is a special rule that may make it easier to get approved. To use this rule, it will help if you can show you can no longer do any of the jobs you used to do. If this is your situation, the way you describe your work history is going to be rather important!
If You Are Applying for LTD
Long Term Disability is disability through your employer. It is different than Social Security. If you are applying for LTD, you will have to prove that you can no longer do your current job. If this is your situation, when you apply for LTD, the way you describe your current job is going to be rather important!
If Your Are Under 50 and Applying for Social Security
Your past job descriptions are unlikely to be very important. Proving you can’t do your past jobs won’t help you that much because you need to prove that you can’t do any job. In rare cases, this form may be important to someone under 50, so you might as well get it right if you can.
Learn From Peony
When describing your past work, be sure to include all physical activities and any other details that will help them see why you could no longer do this job. Peony did a GREAT job describing her past jobs. Here’s her tips:
🌸 Get very detailed including how much you sit, stand, and the heaviest things you have to lift for your job.
🌸 Include anything out of the ordinary. In my case this, included working in cleanrooms in bunny suits, bio-chem labs in lab coats and gloves and laser labs in goggles.
🌸 Remember the people reading your application are office staff and won’t necessarily have any idea of what you actually do on a day-to-day basis in your job. Heck, my own Human Resources department had no idea my job was so physically demanding. They told the insurance company that I sat at a computer all day and didn’t lift over 25lbs. Get detailed!
🌸 Give a detailed description of how the illness impacts your ability to do your job. In my case, I can’t use a wheelchair in a cleanroom or bio-chem lab. The shakes I get would be dangerous in any of these labs. I can’t walk or stand or reach or crawl all of which I need to do to perform my job as an engineering assistant.
🌸 I also decided to include letters of recommendation that had been written before I became sick — I never thought I would end up using them for disability. I included them to show I was a good employee and good at what I did. (Editor’s note: I love this idea! But be careful. Obviously, you do not want to submit letters about what a good job you did after you got sick, since this will hurt your case.)
🌸 Poeny not only did a great job with her work history report, she did a great job with her whole application. And she got approved in seven months without any appeals! To top it all off, she won her LTD case as well. Here’s how she did it: How Peony Won Her Case Despite “Normal” Test Results
🌸 If you already filled out your work history form, and now you are having regrets about your answers, it may be possible to send Social Security additional information. Some lawyers do this before or during a hearing. Once again, this is sometimes important for people who are age 50 or over. Learn more.