Job Classifications in Social Security Disability Cases
In order to qualify for Social Security disability benefits, you have to prove to the Social Security Administration (SSA) that you're unable to perform any type of job that's available in the current economy. The SSA classifies jobs based on the amount of skill that is required to perform them. The SSA divides work into three categories: unskilled labor, semi-skilled labor, and skilled labor. Unskilled Labor Unskilled labor is the least complex type of work and can be performed with little to no previously acquired skills. People can typically learn how to perform unskilled labor in 30 days or less. Examples of unskilled jobs include restaurant dishwasher, surveillance system monitor, clerk/typist, and hand packer. Semi-Skilled Labor Semi-skilled labor is more complex than unskilled labor. Semi-skilled jobs take more than 30 days to learn and require alertness and attention. A job is considered semi-skilled if it requires you to have coordination or dexterity. Examples of semi-skilled jobs include truck driver, carpenter, waitress, and control inspector. Skilled Labor Skilled labor is far more complex than unskilled or semi-skilled labor. Skilled jobs require you to think abstractly, process information, deal with figures, deal with people, make computations, and make precise measurements, among other tasks. Years of training and education are often required to perform skilled labor. Examples of skilled jobs include engineer, pilot, doctor, teacher, architect, CEO of a business, and computer programmer. Why Job Classification is Important Job classification is important because the SSA uses it to determine whether you're still capable of working. If you're unable to perform the job you preformed in the past because of a disability, the SSA will use the sequential evaluation process to determine whether you'd be able to perform a new job. During the sequential evaluation process, the SSA reviews the types of jobs you performed in the past to determine if you have any transferable skills, which are skills that can be transferred to a new job. If the SSA decides that you can be trained for a new job based on your physical and mental health condition, educational background, job skills, and age, you will not qualify for disability benefits. On the other hand, if the SSA determines that you're unable to perform a new job based on your physical and mental health condition, age, educational background, and work history, you will be approved for disability benefits. Different rules apply for claimants who are 55 years old or older. Claimants who are 55 years old or older and have a severe disability that limits them to doing light or sedentary work will be considered unable to perform other jobs unless they have skills that are transferable to other skilled or semi-skilled jobs that they are still capable of performing. Claimants who are 55 years old or older and have an impairment that limits them to doing only sedentary work are typically found by the SSA to have no transferable skills unless the sedentary work is very similar to their previous work. Find out If You Qualify for Social Security Disability If you're planning to apply for Social Security disability benefits, set up a free evaluation with Atlanta Social Security disability attorney Louis B. Lusk. Please call 800.883.7043 (or 404.250.7000) or fill out our online contact form to get in touch.