I bet you think that the only reason to keep track of your work history is to update your resume and apply for a new job, right?
Sure, that’s important, but there are other times you will need to provide this information in detail. When you file an application for Social Security disability, for example, you will need to provide 15 years of work history on your application—including pay rate, hours per week, employment dates and type of work. Even the best resume ever doesn’t contain this information. So it is in your best interest to document your work history somewhere, because even the greatest minds can forget what pay rate they got in 2000!
I know, you think you will never have to file a claim for Social Security disability. Well, neither did any of our current clients, but things happen and one day you might wake up unable to go to work again. Be prepared. Develop a plan to keep all of your employment information accessible.
Are you well into your work career and don’t know where to start gathering information about your past employment? You might want to start with your income tax returns and your W-2s. You can get your employer’s name and your gross wages from these forms. There are 2,080 hours in a 40-hour, work-week year. Divide your gross wages by 2,080 and you will get your rate of pay. It is even easier to track this if you keep your last pay stub of the year with this information.
Why is this information so important when filing a Social Security disability claim? According to Social Security: “The information we ask for on this form will help us understand how your illnesses, injuries, or conditions might affect your ability to do work for which you are qualified. The information tells us about the kinds of work you did, including the types of skills you needed and the physical and mental requirements of each job. . . [B]e sure to give us all of the different jobs you did in the 15 years before you became unable to work because of your illnesses, injuries, or conditions.”
Tax filing time seems like a good time to update your resume and job history. Of course, it would be great if you never needed to use the information beyond a new job application. But, if filing for Social Security disability becomes a reality for you, you will be prepared. If you need assistance with your disability claim, give Heller, Heller, Maas, Moro & Magill Co., L.P.A., a call.