Since the main issue in your Social Security disability case has to do with your past work, it stands to reason that the judge in your case will want to know about your job history. In fact, the vocational witness will be asked to identify and classify your past work.
During my pre-hearing conferences with my clients, I always spend a few minutes talking about past employment. If I see that my client has had 15 or 20 past jobs, most of which lasted only a month or two, I will ask more questions. I think that if the judge recognizes that my client has an on-going problem remaining employed this can be compelling evidence about my client’s lack of capacity to perform work in the future.
I think that every claimant should have an updated list of past work. The judge is going to ask about this and there is no reason to take up the limited time allotted to you for your hearing to try to recall this information.
But where can you obtain information about your past work?
Fortunately Social Security makes it easy by providing this information in your case file, which your attorney will be able to access electronically.
Located in Section D (Non-Disability Development) of your claims case file your attorney should be able to locate and print out for you something called a Detailed Earnings Query. This document will identify the name and year of employment of past employers along with your gross earnings at each employer.
This document will not tell you the months you worked at a particular job although it will tell you the year. You also need to keep in mind that your employer’s legal name is shown – for example, if you worked at a McDonalds, your employer may be shown as ABC Holdings, LLC, which is the franchise name.
Still, the information in this Detailed Earnings Query can be very helpful to you and your attorney when you discuss past work or past unsuccessful work attempts. Not only can your attorney submit a more comprehensive work history prior to the hearing, you will be much better prepared and courteous of the judge’s time, which can only help your cause.