When applying for Social Security disability, be ready for some paperwork. This comes in the way of forms created by SSA. While they may seem designed to collect your information, in many cases they may be the very thing that causes your claim to be denied. One example of this potential pitfall is Form SSA-3369, commonly referred to as a Work History Report (https://www.ssa.gov/forms/ssa-3369.pdf).
This form is important because, in order to win your Social Security disability case, you must prove that you are unable to perform your "past relevant work". This generally refers to work you have performed in the past fifteen years. SSA obtains information about your past relevant work from a few sources, including your earnings records, but the Work History Report gives you the opportunity to explain your work in a way that helps win your case.
One common error I see on these forms relates to the "Job Title" field. This does not refer to the name of your employer! Rather, it refers to the actual position you held. For example, if you worked at Pizza Hut as a delivery driver, then your job title was "delivery driver". Making a mistake here can cause SSA to misconstrue what you actually did on the job. In effect, it can jeopardize your case.
Another misconception I encounter with this form relates to the activities performed on the job. The Form-3369 asks questions about each job held, including heaviest weight lifted and hours spent standing, walking, and sitting. Many good-intentioned individuals underestimate the activities they performed on the job because, for example, they only rarely lifted anything heavy. However, heaviest weight lifted means just that - the heaviest weight you ever lifted on a particular job, even if you only did it a few times. The take-home here is simple: don't sell yourself short! If your job was hard, don't be afraid to say so (without exaggerating, of course).
One seemingly obvious piece of advice is to let your lawyer complete this form with your help. At The Hicks Law Firm, we complete these forms on the computer, not by hand, so that there is no doubt as to what you want to say. We are also experienced in assisting our clients in completing this important piece of their Social Security claim. Just because you can't work doesn't mean your lawyer shouldn't.