How I Use my Client’s Work History to Win Disability Cases

work history + credibilityMany of my clients Many of my clients are curious about why my staff and I spend so much time learning about their work history.  After all, Social Security seems mainly focused on medical problems.  They want to know who your doctors are and they will even send you out for consultative evaluations with physical medicine doctors and psychologists.

It turns out that when your case gets to a Social Security administrative law judge, your work background takes on added significance.  Here’s why and here’s what you can do to make your case stronger using this knowledge:

First, understand that Social Security’s definition of disability focuses primarily on your capacity to work.  SSA defines the term disabled as the inability to perform substantial gainful activity because of a medical condition or conditions that has lasted or is expected to last 12 consecutive months, or result in death.

Substantial gainful activity is defined by Social Security as work or work-like activity.  From your judge’s perspective, he is trying to determine if you could perform a simple, one or two step, entry level job.

Second, judges base a lot of decisions on whether they conclude that you are credible and believable.  Remember that your judge may see 15 to 20 claimants each week and each and every one of those claimants is asserting the same thing – “I do not have the capacity to perform even a simple, unskilled, entry level job.”  How do you stand out from that crowd?