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Work History and Your Social Security Disability Claim


Work History and Your Social Security Disability Claim:

The circumstances that lead someone to apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) vary. The strenuous application process includes a series of difficult questions. These questions include a request for a detailed work history. This may seem counter-intuitive, as individual’s applying for SSDI can no longer work. However, understanding the application process and questions can help you complete your application as effectively as possible.

Need to Knows:

SSDI applications require your work history for several reasons. Namely, work history helps the Social Security Administration (SSA) determine:

  1. Eligibility for SSDI based on your past income taxes and
  2. That you can no longer perform the tasks required at your previous jobs or other “substantial gainful activity.”

These two factors are key to determining whether you will receive SSDI benefits. SSDI is a tax-funded program. Evaluating an individual’s past capacity to pay into the system, or that a family member has paid into the system, is part of the application process. Work history helps verify payment into the SSDI system, as this tax is taken out of paychecks. Your actual ability to work or participate in “substantial gainful activity” is equally important to the SSA.

When the SSA evaluates your work history and your application, they are looking to see if your disability or injury affects your ability to earn income. For instance, if you worked in one field for your entire career before your disability began impairing your work, it may be difficult to switch industries. The Administration may ask for more specific information on your previous work experience, including information on daily tasks and expectations.

Now What?

The SSDI/SSI application process is difficult. We want to help. Our SSDI attorney may be able to help with the application process, as well as with the appeals process. Contact our office today for your free consultation or send us an email at

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