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CJ Henry Law Firm, PLLC

Ocala Disability Lawyer: Examining Your Past Relevant Work

  • Published: May 9, 2012

Your Ocala disability lawyer is aware that many of the Social Security Administration’s rules regarding your ability to perform past relevant work can be perceived as skewed toward disqualifying you from receiving benefits. If you can perform your past relevant work, the SSA will find that you are not disabled, unless your medical records show that your impairment meets or equals a Listed Impairment. Most claimants do not qualify for benefits on the basis of their medical records alone and will need to prove they can no longer perform their past relevant work.

Examining Past Relevant Work

The Social Security Administration’s position is that if you are capable of carrying out the duties of a past relevant job, then you are not disabled. The SSA will not take into consideration whether the job still exists in the present economy or if the job exists, whether it does so in significant numbers.

When determining your ability to perform past relevant work, the Social Security Administration examines whether you can do a past relevant job as it is ordinarily done in the present. If you are able to carry out these job duties, you will be found not disabled even though your actual past job required greater exertion and you are unable to do that particular job. Similarly, if your own past work was easier than the way the job is ordinarily done, the Social Security Administration will examine the actual job tasks as you used to perform in the past and not as they are ordinarily carried out in the present in determining whether you can perform past relevant work.

Look-Back Period

The Social Security Administration imposes a look-back period of 15 years. This means that you will have to discuss and explain all the jobs you held during this time with your disability lawyer. Jobs excluded from past relevant work consideration includes:

  • Jobs you held more than 15 years ago
  • Jobs you did not hold long enough to learn the skills necessary to complete the required job duties successfully.
  • Jobs that did not result in substantial gainful activity

For a job to qualify as substantial gainful activity you must have earned a minimum amount of income as determined by the Social Security Administration. If the income you earned from your past jobs does not meet the substantial gainful activity amounts, it may be excluded from consideration.

The mental and/or physical exertion and skill level required to perform your past job duties are also important factors when proving your ability to complete the job requirements in the present.

If you would like help with your Social Security disability case, speak to a knowledgeable Ocala disability attorney by contacting CJ Henry at (352) 304-5300.

Claudeth Henry

Attorney Henry is a Florida disability lawyer Florida disability lawyer uniquely suited to help you
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