Beginning on June 22, 2024, the Social Security Administration (SSA) changed the meaning of past relevant work. In the past, SSA looked at the past 15 years of a Claimant’s work history. This was cumbersome for individuals to remember work history this far back. This resulted in work history reports that were incomplete and not accurate.

Moving forward, only the past 5 years of work history is considered relevant. In addition, work history that started and stopped in 30 days will not be considered relevant. This should ease the burden on those applying to focus on work that was current and relevant. For SSA, this should improve time processing claims and customer service.

Past relevant work must also have been substantial gainful activity (SGA). SGA is a monetary amount. This simply means that work done under the SGA amount is not considered past relevant work.

In order to be considered disabled a person must be unable to engage in SGA. If someone earns more than a certain amount they are engaging in SGA. SGA changes each year as shown in the chart below.

Monthly substantial gainful activity amounts by disability type

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Attorney Shari Lynn Stevens has worked extensively with residents of Northeastern Wisconsin to secure their financial freedom through filing Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies.  She also advocates and represents disabled clients in their Social Security disability claims.