Generally, to be relevant, the past work the claimant performed must have been within
15 years prior to the date of adjudication (the date of the determination or decision
at any level of review). However, for some title II claims, the relevant period may
end prior to the date of adjudication. See DI 25001.001A.64 of the “Medical-Vocational Quick Reference Guide” for instructions on how to determine
the relevant period for different types of claims.
NOTE: When determining the relevant period for a concurrent title II or title II and title
XVI claim, the relevant periods and the step 4 determinations for each claim may differ
if the title II relevant period ended prior to adjudication.
When determining if work is within the relevant period, consider the relevant period
to begin 15 years prior to its ending date (e.g., if the relevant period ended 12/20/14,
it began on 12/21/99).
IMPORTANT: Do not consider the date that work was no longer relevant when establishing onset
EXAMPLE: A 60-year old, high school educated claimant did an SGA level, unskilled job from
12/01/93 to 10/30/98. The physical and mental requirements of this work are within
his RFC. All of his other work required greater lifting and carrying than his RFC
allowed. If adjudication were on 01/05/14, the job that is within his RFC would not
be within the relevant period because the work ended more than 15 years prior to adjudication.
Based on an adjudication date of 01/05/14, the relevant period would be 01/05/99 to
01/04/14. The claimant alleges disability onset as of 01/01/10. The claimant has a
prior denial dated 07/07/11 for ability to do the past relevant work (PRW) he performed
12/01/93 to 10/30/98. The work was within the 15-year relevant period at the time
of the 07/07/11 denial, but at the time of the 01/05/14 adjudication, it was no longer
in the relevant period.
Summary of case facts:
Relevant period 01/05/99-01/04/14 (adjudication 01/05/14)
Alleged onset date (AOD) 01/01/10
This work was no longer relevant 10/29/2013
Prior denial for ability to do PRW 07/07/11 when the work was in the relevant period.
The claimant had no PRW within his RFC at the time of adjudication on 01/05/14 because
the only work he did within his RFC was no longer relevant as of 10/29/13. The adjudicator
proceeded to step 5 of sequential evaluation. An allowance was appropriate based on
the medical-vocational rules. The claimant met the disability requirements as of his
AOD; however, it was not possible to reopen the prior denial determination of 07/07/11
because the DDS appropriately denied for the case for ability to do PRW. The adjudicator
awarded an established onset date as of 07/08/11, the day after the prior denial.
Because we do not consider when past work was no longer relevant when we establish
onset, the day after the prior denial was the correct onset date even though the claimant’s
past work would have been within the relevant period until 10/29/13 (after his EOD).
IMPORTANT: Consider work performed prior to the relevant period to be PRW when there is a continuity
of skills, knowledge, and work processes between the work outside the relevant period
EXAMPLE: The claimant worked on an assembly line making appliance parts from 01//01/92 to
10/31/99. On 11/01/99, he became a line supervisor, and continued to supervise the
assembly of appliance parts on the line until 11/20/06. Based on an adjudication date
of 12/30/14, the assembly line job is no longer in the relevant period; however, the
supervisor job is within the relevant period and is PRW. The claimant is no longer
able to tolerate the level of interpersonal interaction required by his supervisor
job due to his mental impairment. He is able to tolerate the level of interpersonal
interaction required by his previous job working on the assembly line. Even though
the assembly line job was prior to the relevant period, because there was continuity
of skills, knowledge, and work processes between the supervisor job and the assembly
line job, the adjudicator may find the assembly line job is PRW and determine that
the claimant is capable of performing that PRW.
IMPORTANT: If any portion of the period the claimant performed past work extends into the relevant
15-year period, the work is in the relevant period. If it meets the other criteria
for PRW, consider it at step 4 of sequential evaluation.
EXAMPLE: The claimant worked as a cashier from 01/20/96 to 12/10/2000. If the DDS adjudicates
the case on 01/20/15, the claimant’s cashier work is within the relevant period.