When someone thinks about Social Security disability, they probably think about medical records first and foremost.  After all, Social Security defines disability as the “inability to do any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment which can be expected to result in death or which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months.”  Social Security must look at a person’s ability to do sustained work-related physical and mental activities in a work setting on a regular and continuing basis. A “regular and continuing basis” means 8 hours a day, for 5 days a week, or an equivalent work schedule. See Social Security Ruling 96-8p.

The focus, therefore, is usually on the records that prove the necessary medical impairment.  But we can’t overlook the “substantial gainful activity” part of the equation.  In a recent case, we were able to use employment records to show that a claimant was having extreme difficulty in performing his sedentary, skilled job.  Here’s an example of how those records were integral to winning the case.