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NEW for 2024- Rule for Past Relevant Work & Disability Claims: What You Need to Know

NEW Rule for Past Relevant Work & Disability Claims: What You Need to Know | Disability Representative Near Me Springfield MO Roy Rickstrew 417-812-6698

Past Relevant Work: This includes most work that you have done in your career.  It must be substantial, gainful, and that you performed long enough for you to learn how to do it. 

If you’re applying for disability benefits in 2024 or 2025, there’s an important change you need to know. The Social Security Administration (SSA) is updating their evaluation of Past Relevant Work History. Before this update, applicants had to give a detailed account of their work history for the past 15 years – including job type, responsibilities, and pay. As of 2024, the SSA will only require the last 5 years of relevant work history.

Why Is Past Relevant Work Important?

What Does Past Relevant Work History Mean for Disability Applications? Roy Rickstrew Springfield MO 417-812-6698

During your disability application, the SSA will ask you (and other people) about your work history. Often, they’re trying to determine:

  • Your general expertise or knowledge
  • The physical demands of your former work
  • If you could return to comparable work
  • If your skills are valued in other job capacities

Creating an accurate job history is essential because the SSA will use it to determine whether or not you can return to the job force. 

How Does the New Rule Apply to You?

Disability Representative Near Me Roy Rickstrew Springfield MO The Resource Center 417-812-6698

Key Takeaway: The SSA will review your last 5 years of work history. It must be substantial and gainful work, and you must have stayed in that role for at least 30 consecutive days.

Does Full-Time/Part-Time Matter?

While this does matter in the grand scheme of your disability case, it does not apply to the 30-day rule. Whether you were full-time or part-time, the important factor is the duration of your employment. If you can prove that you held a substantial and gainful position for at least 30 consecutive days within the last 5 years, it will be considered in assessing your disability claim. This change may streamline the application process for some, but for others, it could mean a more stringent evaluation of their recent work history.

What if I Don’t Have Relevant Work Experience or Only Worked “Off & On”?

According to the Federal Register: “if you have no work experience or you did work that started and stopped in a period of fewer than 30 calendar days…  during the five-year period, we generally consider that these do not apply.” Meaning that this work will not count towards your work history. 

How Does the 30-Day Rule Count if I’m an Independent Contractor or Self-Employed?

For those of alternative employment, the SSA will individually evaluate how the 30-day rule applies to you. For example, while some contract work may only take 15 days to complete, sometimes it takes several additional weeks to prepare for the project, meaning that you might be engaged in the work for 30 days or more. 

Why Did the SSA Change Their Rules for Past Relevant Work?

NEW Rule for Past Relevant Work & Disability Claims: What You Need to Know | Roy Rickstrew Disability Representative

The Federal Register disclosed several justifications for this change, and it will achieve several goals. 

Some of their points include:

  • 5 years will better account for relevant work skills
  • Reduces many burdens on individuals applying for disability
  • Employment information tends to be less accurate in the distant past
  • Reduce the need for staff to follow up on inaccuracies
  • Decrease wait times on the evaluation and decision-making process

Ultimately, the new rule for Past Relevant Work aimed to streamline the disability claims process and provide more accurate assessments of an individual’s work history. With this change, applicants could expect a quicker resolution to their claims, allowing them to access the benefits they needed in a timelier manner.

Here’s How A Disability Representative Can Help!

As your disability representative, I  will know your case from start to finish. We’ll be involved every step of the way, and you’ll speak to the same person every time. 

For that reason, I don’t just fine-tune what you have and put it together in a cut-and-paste format. I’ll meticulously review your case and provide feedback on the weak areas of your application and offer clear directions on what information we need and where you can find them.

Whether you’ve already begun the application process or are just getting started, we encourage you to schedule a FREE consultation to help determine the best strategy for your case. Our mission is to eliminate the red tape and mountains of paperwork so you can focus on your health and the things that matter.

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Springfield, MO 65804

 

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