Social Security Disability is tricky because it focuses on things that seem to have little if any impact on whether you are able to work today.

You must be very careful with seemingly innocent questions asked on forms early in the disability process, and later on at the hearing.

A good example of this is your past relevant work.

This means work you have performed in the last 15 years.

If you are under 50 years of age, then your past relevant work does not really matter.

The reason is that you must prove that you can do no work at all, past relevant work or any kind of work.

Once you hit 50 years of age, past relevant work becomes very important.

For instance, if you are 50 years of age and worked as a janitor for the past 15 years and can only work a sit down job now, then you are considered disabled.

However, if you are 50 years of age and worked as a secretary in the past 15 years and are limited to a sit down job now, then you are not disabled.

It is puzzling if you are new to the Social Security Disability process.

Both people are limited to sit down jobs, but only one is disabled.

Your past work can knock you out of disability.

What you must do is show that you can no longer perform your past work maybe because of loss of concentration due to pain or depression or because your hands are injured.

Questions about your Social Security disability case? Feel free to contact Illinois Social Security Disability Attorney Dirk May at 309-827-4371.