A claimant’s work history can be just as important as a person’s medical history when applying for Social Security Disability (“SSD”) benefits. Yesterday, I had two SSD applications that were approved without ever having been denied that illustrate this point.
I had submitted medical evidence that supported approving each claimant’s application. One claimant was a 49 year old court reporter, and the other was a 50 year old firefighter. However, I have submitted similar medical evidence for many other SSD applicants, including former firefighters and court reporters, whose SSD applications were denied initially. The two applications approved yesterday involved individuals who each had only one job during the past 15 plus years.
It is important to emphasize that a claimant’s alleged inability to work is supported by a strong work history. The courts, particularly those in the Second Circuit that includes New York, have established that claimants with a good work record, especially those with the same employer, are entitled to substantial credibility when claiming inability to work because of a disability.
Social Security presumes that the only reason people with a good work ethic, or who earned a lot of money, stopped working is because they cannot. Emphasizing those positive vocational factors is usually sufficient to alter Social Security’s default position of denial to an approval.