Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Work History and SSDI
An often overlooked factor in Social Security Disability cases is a claimants work history. Cases tend to be given more
credibility when a person has a strong work history. Each file for SSDI has a section called the work history report.
In this report it shows a claimants earnings over the course of their life time. It is strong positive evidence in a
claim when the person applying for SSDI shows that they have worked gainfully and consistently right up until they were no
longer able to work due to their medical condition or conditions. Conversely, when a work history report shows sporadic
work with low earnings for years throughout a life time this can be negative evidence against a claim for disability.
ALJs and other decision makers at SSA look at a work history closely to see if the individual trying to get benefits has shown
a history of wanting to work. Now every individual case is different and other factors go into how much they weigh the
work history. For example, those with chronic life long illnesses and poor work records may show the claimant has
consistently tried to work despite their handicap. If the record shows a worsening of the medical condition at the time
they finally stopped working this can be very positive for a case. One situation were a poor work history can sometimes
help a claim is for those who are alleging a mental condition such as bi-polar disorder. Those who suffer from this
condition often have work records that show many jobs for very short durations. This can actually be positive evidence
of the severity of the disorder. I want to take this opportunity to wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving.
8:53 pm est
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
Medical Listing of Impairments is not the only way to win.
Many people who e-mail me often refer to the medical listings and I get the impression that some people think that the only
way you can win is if you meet or equal the listings. The reality is that most people who ultimately win their claim do
not meet or equal a listing. It is very important that you know the role the listings play in the process.
Look at my page called "am I disabled?" it explains the five step process SSA uses to determine if you are
disabled. If you don't meet or equal a listing you simply go on to the next step. The listings are very hard
to meet and takes a doctors opinion supported by the medical evidence to win at this step. The listings are meant
to find people disabled who clearly have a condition of severity medically to be disabled with out considering other factors.
Don't get too hung up on whether you meet these listings they can be hard to fully understand and if you want to
know how to read them bring a copy to your doctor or lawyer. The listings are an important part of the process but you
can still win your Social Security Disability Claim at the other steps of the process.
10:06 pm est