Tips for Getting an Accurate Decision -- Work History
by Loretta Crosby, Ex Disability Examiner
your work history form can mean the difference between an allowance and a denial of your claim, especially if you
are aged 50 or over, so always try to complete the work history form throughly, including guessing at the amount of
time you spent standing, sitting, crouching, crawling, etc., on any jobs you held within the last 15
One way to get a good estimate of this is to go to the dictionary of occupational titles (DOT) which lists the
requirements of 1000s of jobs in the national economy. This is what Disability Examinerss use when you leave out
this section of your work history form.
Remember that even if the DOT lists that people in your occupation spend two hours sitting in a particular job,
but you are sure you only got to sit for an hour, and spent most of your time standing, you should list your actual
standing requirement. Disability examiners will generally use your estimates if they are reasonable.
And if you are in the middle of a claim and have already completed the work history form, you can always
send in supplemental information to your disability examiner.
Generally, work history is one of the last items reviewed in deciding a claim (i.e. one of the last steps in the
Sequential Evaluation process which is to determine if you can perform your past work or if you can perform any
other work in the national economy based on your current medical conditions, including your physical and/or mental
residual functional capacity, which basically indicates what you are still able to do despite your
More on Work History and Social