How to Complete a Work History Report

The Work History Report (SSA-3369) gives Disability Determination Services (DDS) a detailed background of your work history before becoming disabled, including the months and years of employment. This report provides the responsibilities of your previous jobs to the Social Security Administration (SSA) and helps the agency determine if you are or are not able to continue to work with your disability.

Why Do Work History Reports and Information Matter?

The Work History Report is an essential step toward approval for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), and for many claimants 50 to 55 years old, whether they can do their past relevant work (PRW) may be the only contested issue regarding their right to benefits.

What is Past Work?

Your past work goes back 15 years, and the SSA can ask for more background if needed. It’s a good rule of thumb to start with your most recent job and work backward from there. You also must include the type of business and the business name. Any work that lasted three weeks or less should not be included in your past work.

What is Required in a Work History Report?

  1. Job description. You must describe your jobs before becoming disabled and emphasize the specific requirements, duties, and physical demands that you can’t do anymore. Make sure to be clear when describing what you did in the role. For example, instead of “moved product,” which is too vague, state “moved 50 lb. boxes of retail goods” instead. Remember that you are describing jobs you used to do before you became disabled, so emphasize the tasks that would be hard for you now (i.e., too much standing or lifting, too stressful in terms of tasks, too many people, etc.). 
  1. Skills and knowledge reports. If you used special equipment or machinery and possessed licenses or other certificates, clarify what they were and include them in the description or next to the check box. However, you must keep it simple. Be truthful, but do not over-inflate your skills. Think about it like this: your skills will not help your case. You may have had a long career in a specific trade that required lots of physical work that you could not do anymore. Instead of finding that you are disabled because you cannot physically do the work you used to, the SSA may find that you learned skills that would transfer to a less physical light or sit-down job. Even if you don’t know where to find a job like that, they may say enough light or sit-down jobs for someone with your skills exist in the national economy. So, keep it simple and focus on the physical.
  1. Total hours of movements on the clock. After describing skills and knowledge reports, you will report your work hours and how many are spent standing, walking, and sitting (it should add to the amount of time that covers your shift minus any breaks.) If your job was on your feet all day and you were only allowed to sit at your breaks, don’t include sitting in your hourly breakdown. Then, report how many hours are spent handling and reaching (including overhead, forward, and to the side) in conjunction with standing or sitting. Finally, you will provide hours of climbing, which includes ramps, stairs, ladders, ropes, and scaffolds. It helps if you ensure SSA understands that you have to be on your feet or use your hands a lot. Not being able to be on your feet or use your hands excludes you from being able to do a lot of jobs out there.
  1. Lifting or carrying. Consider the heaviest item you’ve lifted at work and include it in your Work History Report, even if you’ve only lifted it once. This will give the SSA an idea of the physical demands of your job and that it requires more exertion than it seems.

In addition, the SSA considers the language used in your role; a supervisor and lead worker may sound the same, but they are completely different roles in the eyes of the SSA. A supervisor holds a higher position and manages people, while lead workers work side-by-side with the team and help execute tasks. When a former supervisor applies for disability benefits, they may be denied because their managerial duties could be transferable to another business setting. A lead worker’s job skills don’t transfer as broadly.

It’s essential to remember that no two disability cases are the same, and the SSA looks for many factors, especially age, when evaluating your work history. Speaking with an experienced disability attorney is crucial for your best chance of receiving the benefits you need.

Portland, OR Disability Attorneys Who Advocate for You

When you’ve recently become disabled and unable to work, it could be hard to see what the future holds. Fortunately, Social Security disability benefits help millions of Americans secure their financial future yearly when they can’t make ends meet alone anymore.

However, the application process is complex, with many moving parts, and most initial applicants are denied. Don’t let this discourage you – speak with a skilled disability attorney at Kerr Robichaux & Carroll instead to review your options. We’ve got everything covered in your case from start to finish.  No claim is too tough for us, and we still stop at nothing to win you the benefits you need to support your household.

Contact us today by submitting a contact form or calling our office at 503-255-9092 for a free consultation.

Do You Need Benefits? Request a Free Consultation

Fill out the form below to receive a free & confidential consultation

Contact Form
Scroll to Top