Home » Blog » Am I disabled if I cannot perform the jobs that I have done in the past?

I receive this question a lot.  In determining whether you meet guidelines to receive Social Security Disability Benefits, this is the claimant’s burden.  They are required to prove a severe impairment that prevents them from performing any jobs that they  have performed in the last 15 years that SSA considers relevant.  After the claimant meets this burden, then whether or not you are found to meet disability guidelines is based on your age, education, and whether the jobs you performed have transferable skills to a job within your limitations.  For example, if you are 38 years old and have an impairment that would limit you to only performing sedentary work, then you will most likely not be found disabled even if you have only worked unskilled manual labor jobs in the past 15 years.  However, if you are 50 years old with the same impairment, sedentary limitation and work background as the 38 year old, you will be found disabled.   Of course, every case is different and changing one factor can create a different outcome.  Therefore, above are some general examples of why the answer to the question above is “no” sometimes and “yes” other times.