An Honest, Clear Voice In SSI/SSDI Care

Understanding past work experience with SSD benefits

On Behalf of | Jan 4, 2018 | Social Security Disability

When seeking Social Security disability benefits in Oklahoma, the sequential process used by the Social Security Administration is imperative to the case. Step 4 is important as it assesses the past work experience of the applicant and determines if the past work is relevant to the current case. There are certain criteria that must be met to move forward with the case.

The SSA will examine how demanding the recent past work was and make a comparison with the current ability to do various work activities. The only past work that will be considered is work that is considered relevant. By that, it means that it must have been done in the previous 15 years; must have required significant and productive mental and physical activities that were done for pay or profit; and must have been done long enough for the applicant to have learned how to do the job. Once it is determined that the previous work is relevant, the capacity to work will be compared with how the person did the work and how that work is done in the current economy.

The applicant must describe the work as it was done in the past. Once the comparison is made, the SSA will do the following: decide whether the person can still do the work as they did before – if so, there will be a finding of not disabled; decide if the person can do past work as it is still done in the current economy – if so, there will be a finding of not disabled; and decide if the person is not capable in a physical or mental way to do any of the past relevant work. If the case moves forward, it will go on to Step 5 in the sequential process to determine if the person can do any other kind of work.

One of the basic factors when seeking SSD benefits is the sequential evaluation process. Those who are unable to work must understand how past relevant work is assessed during the application. A legal professional who understands the entire scope of seeking Social Security disability can be of immense assistance from the start and should be contacted immediately before beginning the process.

Source:, “Information We Need About Your Work And Education,” accessed on Jan. 2, 2018