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How previous work will be assessed when seeking SSD benefits

For Ohio residents who are seeking Social Security Disability benefits, one of the most important factors when the Social Security Administration decides whether to approve or deny benefits is if the applicant can do work he or she did in the past. This is a key to the decision. For claimants who are concerned about this issue, it is important to understand what the SSA does when it makes its assessment and subsequent decision.

The SSA will consider the demands the previous work placed on the claimant and do a comparison with the assessment of the current ability to perform activities associated with basic work. Only work that is deemed relevant will be considered. In general, this is limited to the following: work that was done in the 15 years before the claim; if it involved significant and productive activities in a physical and mental way; and if the person did the job for a sufficient period to learn how to do it.

If the SSA decides that the past work is relevant, it will be compared to the claimant's capacity to work with the following: how the person did the past work and how that work is done in the current economy. They will need a full description of the work as the person did it. Once the comparisons are made, the SSA will decide on various scenarios.

If it is decided the person can do work he or she did in the past, there will be a finding of "not disabled." If the person is found to be able to do past work as it is currently done in the national economy, the person will be declared "not disabled." If the person is found not to be able to physically or mentally be able to do any of the past work, the next step in the process - if the person can do any other kind of work - will begin.

For people who are seeking SSD benefits, there are numerous reasons why they might be denied Social Security. For help with a claim and understanding everything necessary when applying, a legal professional experienced in Social Security disability can help.

Source: ssa.gov, "Step 4: Can You Do The Work You Did Previously? -- How do you decide whether I can do my past work?," accessed on Oct. 3, 2017

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