After a Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) claim is filed, it will be assigned to a disability examiner who will request medical records and collect additional evidence needed to make a decision. To help get a better picture of how disabling condition(s) may impact applicants, the examiner may send out questionnaires to be completed. One such questionnaire that might be issued is the Work History Report. Unlike the Function Report, which focuses on the changes the applicant has made to their daily activities because of their condition(s), the Work History Report focuses on what activities were regularly performed during all jobs held over the previous fifteen years.
What is the Work History Report from Social Security?
The Work History Report questionnaire is an important part of the SSDI process because it provides the applicant an opportunity to share their perspective on the duties their previous position(s) required. In addition to looking at medical conditions and the limitations they cause, the disability examiner from Social Security will consider whether, in light of their impairments, the applicant can either do work performed in the past 15 years or any other work. The examiner will take into consideration the applicants age, education and training, so providing them a detailed, thoughtful picture of previous work could have a positive impact on their claim.
If an applicant has held a few similar positions, the Work History Report might feel a bit repetitive — but it is very important to be as detailed and specific in completing this form as possible. Without those details, the examiner cannot accurately determine whether the applicant can perform any of their previous jobs.
How is the Work History Report filled out?
One portion of the Work History Report can be particularly challenging to complete because it asks about how much time is spent on each activity during a typical workday. When filling out this section, it is important to ensure that the hours spent walking, standing, and sitting add up to how many hours a typical shift consisted of. For example, if an applicant worked eight-hour shifts, the time spent walking, standing, and sitting could not add up to more than eight hours. Below is an example of how this form might look when completed correctly; please note how the first three categories add up to the exact number of hours worked in a typical shift. The remaining actions do not add up to eight hours, as they may vary depending on the range of duties.
Nothing in this post is intended as advice or a suggestion to elect or not elect to claim benefits of any kind, including Social Security benefits, nor is it intended as financial advice in any way. The decision to claim benefits is a personal one that is contingent upon each individual’s unique circumstances.