5 Additional Tips for Filling out the Social Security Work History Report Form (SSA-3369)

At some point during your application for disability benefits, you will likely receive a form 3369 from Social Security.  This form will ask you for your work history from the past 15 years.  The SSA will use your information to determine what jobs you can do and whether your options are limited enough for you to qualify for benefits. 

Fifteen years is a long time, and you might have some difficulty remembering all the work you did during that time.  However, you must do your best to give complete answers.  For each job, Social Security wants to know several things: 1) what the job was called, 2) what type of business the company was in, 3) your start and end dates for that job, 4) the types of tasks you performed, 5) how much you had to lift and carry in this job – both generally and in specific instances, 6) how much of your day was spent in various postures such as standing, sitting, stooping, etc., and 7) the types of tools and equipment you used and the knowledge and skills that were required. Social Security Administration Form

Additional tips from our Indianapolis Social Security lawyer team:

  1. Be brutally honest. This is not a job interview, so you don’t need to polish your tasks.  It’s important not to downplay the difficult aspects of a job.  Don’t exaggerate or downplay your duties.  Describe your responsibilities at their most frequent and demanding, not as they were on the easier days at your jobs.  Remember that if you’re under age 50, you can only qualify for Social Security disability benefits if your condition leaves you unable to perform any job at any skill and exertional level. Disability eligibility rules are more lenient if you’re 50, but exaggerating what you can do will complicate things. 
  2. Say what you need to say, but you don’t have to give extra information.  SSA is primarily interested in the job duties – they don’t necessarily need to know that you were going through a divorce when you worked at a specific job or that a family member helped you find a job more willing to accommodate your limitations.
  3. Be specific.  Use physical terms to describe your work.  Did you carry empty boxes or boxes containing about 40 one-pound containers from the end of the line to a pallet to be wrapped and shipped?  Did you supervise coworkers, or were you doing the same job that they were doing and also answering their questions? Job titles commonly include the word “manager” or “supervisor” when those workers don’t actually supervise other people.  Of course, being specific may be difficult for jobs you held longer ago or for shorter periods.  As much as possible, though, try to avoid guessing or estimating when describing job tasks and avoid vague or general terms.  But, if you do guess, be sure to say so.  Remember, the person reviewing your file might not be familiar with the job you are describing, so you want to make it as easy as possible for them to understand what you did.  Be sure also to mention any unusual but regular duties for a job.  For example, if your job was receptionist but required you to clean the bathrooms every day, be sure to mention that. 
  4. Be consistent.  If you tell Social Security that you lost a job because you could not communicate appropriately with the general public, but then your next job is in a retail setting, that will raise red flags.  Similarly, if you transferred to a job that was easier for you physically, don’t describe it as having the same requirements as the more challenging job you transferred from.  Also, think about what you have written on other forms for Social Security and refer back to those other forms if you need to. 
  5. Answer all the questions.  Yes, some of the questions are repetitive and take a lot of time, but you do not want your application to be marked as incomplete because that will delay the claim.  Depending on the question, you could write “none,” “does not apply,” “I don’t know,” “unsure,” or “N/A.”
Post A Comment