After you first apply, Social Security should 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 Over 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 can sometimes be important.
In many cases, the rule does not start to apply until age 55.
These rules are called Medical Vocational Allowance. They are often referred to as the “grid rules”. If you wish to learn more about how this works:
If Your Are Under 50 or 55
If the rule does not apply to your case, 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. How you fill out this form is unlikely to make a difference on your case.
If you are also applying for Private Disability or Long Term Disability (disability through your employer), past job descriptions become much more important.
Every private disability policy is different. Many policies, for the first two years you must prove you can’t do YOUR job. After two years, you must prove you cannot do ANY job.
Filling Out the Form
If you are having trouble remembering your past jobs or dates of employment, you can create an online Social Security account and check your earnings history.
Pro tip: If you notice that any jobs or income missing from the Social Security records, you may want to look into getting this corrected, since it could affect the amount of your disability benefits.
Dates of Previous Work
What you write here should be the same as what is on your taxes and Social Security statements.
If you were technically employed, but stopped working (out on extended sick leave or disability leave) during the end of your employment, then list the date you stopped performing work and write a note indicating the other dates when you were receiving income but out on leave. If possible, attach documentation or proof that you were out on leave and not working during those days.
Earning Income Without Working
If you were earning income but not performing work (for example, if you were co-owner of a business, but not actually working), it is helpful if your tax records are accurate about earned and unearned income. Otherwise, Social Security may think you are working, when you are not. Learn more: Earning Income Without Working
🌸 For anyone who falls under the grid rules, or who is applying for private disability…. Here’s how Peony did it and won her case: Peony Proves She Cannot Work
🌸 The Work History Report is just one piece of the puzzle. Here’s the whole puzzle: How to Greatly, Greatly (Greatly!) Improve Your Disability Application
🌸 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.
Thanks for Reading
This page is part of the free online guide: The Sleepy Girl Guide to Social Security Disability
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