What is a Work History Report and Why is it Important?

What is a Work History Report and Why is it Important?

A 3369 or Work History Report is a form requested by the Social Security Administration for all adult disability claims. It is meant to help assess your past jobs and any job skills you may have acquired. An important step in the disability determination process is classifying your past relevant work- any substantial work done in the last 15 years- and deciding your ability to do such work or work with the same skills. This becomes particularly relevant when social security’s grid rules apply to a claim, generally claimants aged 50 or older.

I’ve seen many claims prolonged because social security was unable to properly assess past relevant work or incorrectly classified a claimant’s past work and needed to go to a hearing for testimony to clarify work history. Sometimes what may seem like a straightforward job title may actually be much more involved position with unique job duties and skill sets. Common examples can be differentiating office worker jobs or retail positions. Likewise, some grandiose sounding job titles may have fairly simple work duties. The worst-case scenario is that social security could decide you are not disabled because they expect you to do a job you never did or with a skillset you never learned. For this reason, it is important to be sure your work history form is filled out completely and accurately.

Like numerous other forms involved in the disability application the 3369 is designed to be simple and straightforward but it can be easy to oversimplify jobs or not remember specific dates. The form starts with a list to fill in past jobs and the dates you worked them. Particular dates can be hard to remember but it is important to be clear how long you worked each job. It takes time to learn the skills of a job so if you worked in a skilled position but only for a couple of months it should not be expected you acquired all skills of that job or can return to that work even if physically capable.

The second portion of the work history report is a page for individual jobs and the exertional, postural and supervisory elements of each job. It can be hard to know the exact weights lifted or amount of time spent standing or walking so explaining job duties is important as well. Many people also overlook the heaviest items lifted if they’re incidental to their job duties. For instance, many office workers do need to move computer equipment, load printers or take deliveries. While not a large part of their role it is an essential job function and should not be ignored.

While not the most complicated paperwork you may do the work history report is an important part of your disability application and needs to be done thoroughly and accurately to avoid any undue denials or delays in the claims process. If you’re having difficulty with this or other paperwork or second guessing your understanding of the process contact a disability attorney for help.