What Is Social Security’s Work History Report

Posted August 19, 2022 by Premier Disability Services, LLC®

You can improve your chances of getting disability benefits by providing a detailed work history to the Social Security Administration (SSA). The Social Security claims examiner will use the information you provide on the Work History Report (Form SSA-3368) to determine what kind of work you can still do.

Why Your Employment History Is Important

It’s important to include as much detail as you can about each job you had so that the claims examiner gets a clear picture of the following:

Job description: your job titles, the specific tasks you performed, the skills needed to do the job, and the work environment.

Physical requirements: how much you had to walk, stand, climb, sit, lift, and carry; how much you had to kneel, bend, stoop, and crawl; and how you used your hands.

Challenges you faced on the job: extra help you needed to perform your work duties, and if you had to reduce your work hours due to your medical condition, or take frequent sick days or rest breaks.

Your medical condition’s effect on your ability to perform the job: including how your medical condition affected your job performance, when you had to stop work, and why you had to stop.

How to Fill Out the Work History Report

The work history form asks for your job history over the past 15 years, with space for you to list up to 10 jobs. List every paid job you had—even part-time work. The work history report includes a separate page for each job you listed, where you’ll share the details of the job, including:

  • your job title
  • your pay rate
  • hours you worked per day
  • your job description (everything you did each day)
  • specific job skills needed
  • physical requirements (like how long you needed to stand or how much you had to lift and how often), and
  • whether you had a manager role.

Be sure to provide accurate contact information for past supervisors. The claims examiner might need to call them to discuss the demands of a particular position you’ve listed on your work history, as well as any specific skill sets you might or might not have gained.

How Social Security Will Use Your Work History

The claims examiner will look closely at the requirements of your prior jobs to see if you should be able to return to one of them or if your impairment prevents you from doing each job. If the examiner doesn’t know the true requirements of each job you had, the examiner might think you’re able to do a job when you’re not.

If the disability examiner agrees you can’t do your prior work, he or she will next look at your age, education, and prior skills to see if you can learn any other work. To do this, the examiner must know what job skills you gained from previous jobs. Without a detailed work history, a disability examiner has to guess at the tasks associated with prior jobs.

For example, if you were a secretary 10 years ago, the examiner could assume that you can type 65 wpm and could find other jobs you could do that require this skill. You don’t want the claims examiner to assume you have skills you don’t. If the examiner knows you don’t have certain skills, the jobs the SSA would assume you can do would be much more limited.

That’s why it’s important to describe in detail what your work was like at each job.

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