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Ledgerwood Law Group

Past Relevant Work & Your Butte Disability Benefits Claim

In evaluating your claim for SSDI disability benefits, the disability examiner or administrative law judge assigned to your case will decide if you are able to perform the kind of work you did prior to filing. If it is decided that you can’t, they will investigate what types of other work you may be able to do.

If it is found that no jobs meet either criterion, your case will be approved and you will start receiving disability compensation. It can be extraordinarily difficult to convince Social Security of this, however, so one of the primary goals of building your claim is to support how much of a hardship employment is for you with as much hard evidence as possible.

Past Relevant Work

A key part of your application is a comprehensive work history. This is a little bit like the information you’d submit on a job application or a resume, but it contains much more detail about the physical and mental demands of each job.

Appropriate jobs to describe in Past Relevant Work will be:

  • Jobs you’ve held in the last 15 years.
  • Jobs for which you were compensated.
  • Jobs you had long enough to be sufficiently trained.

Obviously, it’s possibly you may have had a number of jobs that don’t fit into this list, such as unpaid volunteer work or jobs you were not able to keep because of your disability. Seasonal and part-time employment, on the other hand, is often considered relevant.

Next, you’ll need to go into the specifics of each qualifying job. You’ll want to include:

  • A thorough job description, including necessary skills and duties, average weekly hours, and a description of the workplace environment.
  • Physical tasks performed regularly, such as the amount of standing, walking, lifting, bending and carrying done over the course of a typical workday; the types of equipment and tools needed for the job; required fine motor skills.
  • How your condition limited work performance, addressing issues like how often you needed to take breaks or leave before your scheduled time; if you needed to take lengthy periods of time off for issues related to your condition; how much and what kind of assistance you needed from co-workers.
  • How your condition affected overall performance, specifically how your condition started to negatively impact your performance, as well as the reason you are no longer working at this job.

Many people have very complex employment histories. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed with any part of the relevant work history segment of your application, you may want to retain the services of a skilled Butte disability lawyer before your initial filing. Call Ledgerwood Law at 888-761-7383 or fill out the online contact form to learn more.


Thomas Ledgerwood
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Proprietor Ledgerwood Law Group