Your education is something that you are proud of, it may be something that you worked hard for, and it may be something that you look back on fondly. However, once you start working people may not often ask you about your degrees.
The Social Security Administration Is Asking—and This Is Why it Wants to Know
When you apply for Social Security disability benefits, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will ask questions about your education. More specifically, the SSA is going to want to know:
- If you are literate and able to communicate in English.
- Whether you graduated high school.
- How many years of post-high school education you have.
- What degrees you earned and in which field(s) you earned them.
- Whether you attended a trade or vocational school.
- Whether you have any special job training. This could include training programs through your employer, apprenticeships, and other types of education or training.
The SSA is not asking these questions because people with a certain level of education get better benefits. Instead, education is relevant to whether you can do another kind of work if your disability keeps you from doing the work that you did previously.
Your Disability May Keep You From All Substantial Gainful Activity—Regardless of Your Education
Don’t be afraid to tell the SSA the truth. Your education may have prepared you to work in a variety of positions or in numerous different fields. However, your disability could keep you from working at all. If this is the case then the SSA should find you disabled and give you the Social Security disability benefits that you deserve.
by Paul B. Burkhalter Managing Partner of Morgan & Weisbrod, Board Certified in Social Security Disability Law.