Monday, August 14, 2017

It’s not a job interview…

One of the discussions that nearly always takes place at disability hearings is a discussion of the work that was performed by the Claimant in the 15 years preceding the hearing.  The jobs that were performed on a full-time basis are generally considered “Past Relevant Work (PRW)”.  When a Claimant does not have a listing level impairment, the adjudicator will proceed to Step Four of the Five-Step Disability Process.  Step Four requires that PRW be analyzed to see whether or not a Claimant can return to this work.  A judge will inform herself about a Claimant’s PRW by examining the scanned disability report, and frequently by taking direct testimony on the hearing record in the presence of the Vocational Expert.

A common issue that I see when discussing past relevant work with Claimants is a tendency to treat the conversation like a job interview.  “Puffery” if often involved when job seeking, and people that cannot work may also romanticize their past work as “the good old days”.  Both of these inclinations are reasonable in the real world, but can be very damaging in the context of disability proceedings.  Claimants may have the immediate inclination to discuss past work in terms that are likely to impress prospective employers or their peers.  Very rarely would an individual discuss the particulars of their day-to-day vocations outside of the job interview process, especially if their prior work might be viewed as dull or not requiring skill.  Puffery is a natural reaction, but not controlling it CAN HURT YOUR CASE.

When conversing under oath with the ALJ or the VE, it is advisable to tell the “warts and all” truth.  If a Claimant sat at a desk, answered phones, and transferred calls to other team members, they should say this directly and unequivocally.  The Claimant does not want to have sales skills or other skills implied.  If a Claimant input numbers into an Excel spreadsheet to hand off to an analysis team, they should say this directly.  Having computer and analysis skills imputed to them may give the ALJ the opinion that there are transferable skills, which can jeopardize your case.

In addition to avoiding having skills imputed, it is important to discuss management situations with particularity.  If part of a Claimant’s job responsibilities involved managing a job site when the boss was out, make sure that the Claimant discuss the frequency of this occurrence, and the responsibilities with which they were tasked.  Additionally, it is common for managers to have a higher specific vocational preparation period (SVP) and lower exertional level than laborers.  Allowing the adjudicators to believe that a Claimant was a manager when this was not the case can cause significant issues when analyzing whether or not they can return to your PRW.

In summary, simply discussing the actual day-to-day work as it was performed in a Claimant’s Past Relevant Work is the most advisable course of action.  This may require counseling and preparation in advance of a disability hearing to avoid puffery, but as the saying goes “an ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure.”


  1. Thank you for sharing such valuable information.

    Pest Control

  2. Parking Management Software
    online parking software
    Cloud based parking solutions
    Free Parking Software for Town Houses, Condominiums, and Businesses Solves Parking Problems
    Searching for a parking space is such as frustrating routine activity for lots of people in cities all over the world. This search is burning over a million barrels of oil of the world each day. There are also 4-parking spaces every vehicle in the US and almost all streets are most of the time, empty, which leads to urban environments that are ironically doing far more to accommodate the vehicles than people. As the global population continuously urbanize, without a convenience-driven and well-planned retreat from cars, these sort of parking problems will worsen. software is the first step in the right decision. It involves using low-cost sensors, mobile phone-enabled, and real time data collection automated payment systems enabling people to reserve parking in advance or predict accurately where they can find a spot. When deployed as a system, free parking software thereby reduces car emissions in the urban centers by means of reducing the necessity for the people to circle the city blocks needlessly searching for parking. Furthermore, it permits the cities to manage their parking supply carefully.
    This free parking software is now being developed in many different states and cities around the United States and some other countries. For instance, in LA, smart meters and low-power sensors are tracking the occupancy of parking spaces across the Hollywood district, one of the most congested areas. The users will be able to access this occupancy data in order to determine the availability of the spots and then pay for them with their mobile phones. Other than the environmental benefits and lending convenience, free parking software is improving the utilization of the current parking, which lead to greater revenue for parking owners.
    These programs will be able to make great differences on a neighborhood level, but more widespread development and deployment is necessary for free parking software to change the cities and to contribute to the transportation sector pollution reductions greenhouse gas. One problem is that there are no citywide solutions all over the fragmented private and public parking providers. The occupancy data has a tendency to have many owners and is not accessible or standardized in a way that may enable software developers to turn into user-friendly applications. Thereby, individual smart parking efforts are so far successful locally, but uncoordinated, and operates in their own entrepreneurial or bureaucratic vacuums without a need to take gap between current free parking software and more widespread transportation system planning is an enormous missed opportunity for the cities to reduce the transportation related emissions.
    Moreover, free parking software has been hindered by a lack of insight into the complete benefits of this software, specifically when compared to the cost of building extra parking spaces. Lack of collaboration between communities with the parking software programs, as well as lack of coordination between hardware providers, municipalities, and developers is also contributing to the slower adoption of smart parking. Nevertheless, it is possible to overcome all these issues. Cities will be able further accelerate these advantages by means of updating the land use and building codes policies to reflect the reduced need for parking.


  3. Amazing! I have gone through and found this blog very helpful for me.

    Austin pool repair
    Pool repair service in Austin


  4. Thanks a lot for sharing great & instructive information.

    Server 2016 High Availability


  5. Really nice blog! posts are relevant and quality! Thank you

    Christian Meditation


  6. We take the frustration out of parking management for Apartments, Home Owners Associations, Condominiums, Townhouses Co-ops, and other parking has reinvented how parking management should be done.

    Parking software condominium
    email blast to tenants
    Guest parking