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The Importance of Identifying past Relevant Work

Our firm recently was successful in U.S. District Court on a Social Security case where the Social Security judge misidentified the claimant’s past relevant work. In Social Security disability cases the burden is on the disabled person to prove that they can no longer perform their past relevant work. Once it is proven that a claimant can perform the past relevant work the claim is denied.


In this case the Social Security judge determined that the claimant’s past relevant work was that of a Fast Food worker which is identified as a “light” level job. The Social Security judge denied the claim finding that the claimant could return to her past relevant work at the light level.


Where the problem lies is that the claimant’s past relevant work was actually that of a Dishwasher and not that of a Fast Food worker. The difference is significant. A “dishwasher” is classified as medium level work.  So when the Social Security judge determined that the claimant could return to work at the light level the claimant would not be able to return to her work at a medium exertional level.


We appealed the Social Security judge’s decision to the U.S. District Court and the District Court remanded the claim for a new hearing. The importance of identifying your past relevant work could mean the difference in being awarded disability benefits or being denied. The District Court decision can be found by clicking the link here:

https://law.justia.com/cases/federal/district-courts/tennessee/tnedce/3:2014cv00393/72343/21/


A  competent attorney who focuses on Social Security disability cases can properly identify your past relevant work and can make a significant difference in the outcome of your claim for benefits.


As always, should you have any questions about Social Security disability please feel free to contact our offices at anytime.