When you apply for Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) the Social Security Disability Determination Bureau will mail you a function report and work history report to complete and return. These forms must be returned to Social Security.

The work history report must be filled out completely and honestly based on your past 15 years of work history. In the form you will fill out a summary of what you on a day-to-day basis in those positions. This information is used to determine if you can perform your past work or any other work in the national economy.

Below are some tips and common errors to assist in filling out this report:

  • Answer all questions! This will lead to an examiner marking your report as not complete. If you do not comply with filling out the reports your case can be denied. If the question does not apply to you or you do not know the answer you can write “does not apply”, “do not know”, “N/A”.
  • Answer truthfully the physical and mental demands of the job. Focus on the actual tasks and responsibilities rather than the job title. If you had to make accommodations or leave this job due to your disability, make this clear.
  • Do not state you never lifted anything or guess on the amount of weight lifted. Even if you are sitting at a desk all day you are still lifting some items. If you do not know what items weigh, look it up!
  • Do not claim you are a manager or supervisor if you are not one. This is not a resume and not a time to be fluffy and overstate what you did or list skills you did not actually have. This report is merely for the facts.
  • Write down accurate dates of employment and hours correctly. If you only worked part-time or held a job for a few months this is important. These positions are not considered past work because you did not have the job long enough or with enough consistently to be proficient of effective. Do not let Social Security make assumptions about any job you had.
  • There is a place at the end of the report where can put the contact information if someone assisted you in completing the report.
  • Social Security will provide a 10-day timeframe to return this report to their office. Make sure to send it back on time. If you need more time, please contact Social Security, and let them know you are working on the report and when you anticipate completing it and mailing it back to them. Not sending this form back to Social Security can be used against you. Not complying with filling out forms is a big reason claims are denied.
  • Keep a copy for your records. If the report is lost in the mail, you will have a copy of the report to give to Social Security.

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Bankruptcy Attorny, Principal , View my profile

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.