Why Does Social Security Disability Care About My Past Jobs?

Applying for Social Security Disability can be a complicated process, even with a Social Security lawyer on your side. But the top Social Security Disability lawyers are aware of all the factors that could potentially affect your application, including your previous jobs. With their help, you can ease the process all while improving your chances of a successful application, the very first try.

To Determine the Degree of Your Disability

After receiving your application for disability benefits, the Social Security Administration (SSA) uses your previous work history to establish your level or degree of disability. In SSA policy, disability is very specific and could potentially exclude your condition, even if your doctor or health care professional has deemed you disabled.

According to the Social Security Administration, you are only disabled if you are unable to carry out routine daily tasks like lifting, standing, walking, sitting, and remembering. And, these effects must last for at least 12 months or be expected to result in death.

If your condition does not match these requirements, the SSA will deem you not disabled and find that you can either keep working, or that you could discover other short-term solutions to support yourself with a temporary disability like workers’ compensation, insurance, savings, or investments.

Assuming you have passed this initial definition of disability in that you cannot carry out standard tasks for 12 months or more, the SSA will refer to your work history. Looking at your work history, the SSA will closely look at the symptoms of your disability and uncover whether or not your condition prohibits you from carrying out your daily duties for positions you have held over the past 15 years. If they believe that you could return to any one of these positions, your application will be denied, and you will not receive support from the federal government.

A Social Security benefits lawyer is extremely helpful in this stage and can help you to formulate both your condition and previous work environments in that it appears completely impossible for you to return to work.

To Determine any reductions

After you have been approved to receive Social Security benefit, the SSA will work to determine which monthly amount would be appropriate for your condition.

One of the influential factors in this decision is your work history, salary, and tax situation in regard to your previous positions.
First of all, your social security benefits cannot be worth more than 80% of your previous salary. This condition changes once you turn 65, and your disability checks are no longer restricted to a specific monetary amount.

Secondly, the SSA will check to see whether you contributed to the SSA during your employment by paying Social Security taxes. Depending on the number of years you paid these taxes in addition to other factors, your monthly payout will be reduced slightly. However, if you paid Social Security taxes for at least 30 years of your career, your monthly benefits will not be affected at all.

Generally speaking, employees of private businesses and organizations are exempt from this role as their employers paid the Social Security taxes on their behalf. Employees who held positions in government or public agencies, on the other hand, may be susceptible to this rule. Some states have their own Social Security programs which replace the federal administration, so some public employees are not able to contribute to the SSA.

Your work history is only one example of the factors that play a determining role in the SSA’s eyes when it comes to benefits claims. If you are unsure how your work history could affect your application, and you would like advice regarding how to proceed, contacting a local social security lawyer could be advantageous. Most attorneys offer free consultations, so the first phone call is completely risk-free.

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