NDA News

Social Security Administration Drops Obsolete Jobs Of List Used to Provide Or Deny Disability Benefits

The Social Security Administration removes over a hundred obsolete jobs from its DOT occupations list. This will allow more people to qualify for Social Security disability benefits.

Obsolete jobs such as “reptile farmer,” “log scaler” and “canary breeder” can no longer be used to deny applications for Social Security disability benefits. That’s because the Social Security Administration made the biggest update to its occupations list since 1991 – over thirty years ago.

The Social Security Administration removed 114 occupations from the Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT), a list of jobs used to determine if a person applying for disability could theoretically be capable of another line of work.

To determine if an applicant has a disability that impairs their ability to work, the SSA evaluates your disability in comparison to its disability blue book, evaluates your ability to do past work in your employment history, and finally, if you can transition to another line of work readily available in the United States. The DOT occupations list is typically used alongside the Selected Characteristics of Occupations Defined by the Revised Dictionary of Occupational Titles (SCO), a companion publication that has more detailed data about different jobs.

Since the list of DOT occupations had not been updated in over thirty years, many people who applied for disability benefits were denied because the SSA determined that they were able to perform the work duties of listed jobs that either no longer exist in large numbers. Some of these jobs either have a very small workforce, no longer exist, were since outsourced overseas or are now performed by machines.

In addition, the Social Security Administration also found 13 DOT occupations where federal courts questioned the “not disabled” finding. The SSA will implement more evidence requirements for these jobs, such as almond blancher, nut sorter, tube operator and microfilm processor.

What does this mean for my Social Security disability claim?

This may depend on how far along you are in the process. If you have specific questions as to how this updated occupations list affects your qualification for Social Security disability benefits, contact our SSD attorneys at 833-MY-DISABILITY (833-693-4722).

If you have not yet filed a claim for Social Security disability benefits, you may be relieved to find that a final decision on your claim will no longer be affected by outdated job listings. If you would like to learn more about your eligibility for Social Security benefits, read more about disability benefits programs, the SSDI & SSI application processes, and frequently asked questions our attorneys may answer. Then, fill out our intake form to sign up for a free consultation.

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