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Home » Glossary » Past Relevant Work

Definition of Past Relevant Work

Past relevant work is any work performed by a disability applicant within the last fifteen years. Unsuccessful work attempts are not considered past relevant work. The worker must have worked the job for three months or more at a full-time capacity and received compensation.

Claimants who have a condition which meets or exceeds a listing on the SSA Listing of Impairments will not have to worry about past relevant work, but if the claimant's condition does not meet or exceed a listing, they must prove they cannot work. This will include performing any past relevant work. If the SSA determines a claimant can perform past relevant work they will be denied SSDI or SSI benefits.

Many disability applicants are denied disability benefits because the SSA states they can work a past job or retrain for new work. If you have been denied but you do not think you can work, talk to a disability lawyer. The SSA may simply need better medical evidence which clearly outlines your functional limitations to work. If you do choose to appeal a denial you will have 60 days from the date of the denial letter to file an appeal.

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