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Past Relevant Work

When an individual applies for Social Security Disability benefits, the Social Security Administration considers a number of factors in determining whether or not that individual is capable of performing any type of work activity. One of the considerations taken is the applicant's past relevant work experience.

Under Social Security Disability guidelines, past relevant work is any type of work that the individual has performed in the past fifteen years. This work must have been performed for three months or more at a full time capacity in exchange for wages or other compensation. If a previous job resulted in an unsuccessful work attempt, it is not considered to be past relevant work experience.

Past relevant work is considered at step four of the evaluation process used by the Social Security Administration to determine whether or not an individual is disabled. When you are filling out your Social Security Disability application, it is important that you clearly define your past work experience. If you are vague when filling out this part of the disability paperwork, it may hurt your chances of being approved for disability benefits.

The Social Security Administration looks closely at your past relevant work and the jobs that you held for the past fifteen years. If the Social Security Administration determines that you can return to the type of work that you have done in the past, or transfer your past job experience to another type of job that is available in the national economy, your application for Social Security Disability benefits will be denied.

When filling out your disability application, be clear and straightforward when describing your previous jobs. Be honest, but do not embellish your work history. Remember, this is not a resume; it is an application for disability benefits. If you embellish your past work experience, it may hurt your chances of being awarded disability benefits.