Court Finds that SSA Should Classify Your Job the Way It is Performed “Most of the Time”

At disability hearings, the Social Security judge will evaluate whether your physical and mental impairments prevent you from performing the work you have done in the past 15 years. On June 7, 2016; the United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit in Stacy v. Colvin upheld the rule that Social Security cannot use the least demanding aspect of your past work to classify the difficulty level of the job. For example, if you worked for many years as a construction foreman, but the majority of your job duties required the performance of manual labor, a Social Security judge cannot classify your work experience based only on the aspects of the job involving occasional supervision of other employees. In other words, your past work will not be evaluated solely based on the easiest job duties you performed. So if you worked in a job that was physically demanding most of the time, but also less often required lighter duties of writing reports or supervising employees, the judge cannot deny your claim on the basis that you could hypothetically perform the least challenging aspects of your job.