Often you may here someone say, “Social Security Disability said I can take up tickets at a toll booth, they don’t think I am disabled”. What that person is really talking about is called unskilled work, skilled work, and or transferable job skills. Under Social Security there will be a determination made as to whether your past work was unskilled or skilled, and it has very important consequences.
Lets first start with who decides whether you had an unskilled job, or skilled job, Social Security Disability uses a vocational expert. A vocational expert is someone who has studied in the field of Vocational Evaluation and rehabilitation, they are employed by Social Security to evaluate past work history and surmise what type work you can do now, if any at all.
At the hearing of your claim before the Judge, you will appear with your attorney and the vocational expert. There are two important statements a vocational expert can make about your case, the first is determining if your former job was skilled or unskilled, the next is determining if you had a skilled job, is there any transferable job skills to allow you to do another job?
Unskilled, if the vocational expert determines that you had a job that was unskilled, then there will be no transferable job skills to worry about, however the expert may testify that you can do other non skilled work, at this point it is very important to know what your limitations are, in regards to ability to do types of work;sedentary work, light work, medium work. Understanding where you might fall is very important for the Social Security Grid System. The grid system is a chart developed by Social Security that uses many factors, (including age, job skills, education, ability to do light, work, sedentary work, or medium work) to help the Judge determine your disability.
How is skilled work judged? Under 82-41 it makes the following points:
- Skills can only be transferred from one specific job to another
- A worker who in the past has performed only unskilled work, cannot have skills
- Skilled work cannot be transferred to unskilled work
- Skills are not transferable if the new skilled job requires significant training
- Worker traits such as, alertness, dexterity are not skills, they are only traits
- Any job requiring 30 days or more of training is not considered unskilled
It is fundamental to understand skilled and unskilled work when dealing with a vocation expert at the hearing of your matter. Please give my law office a call toll free at 1 (877) 271-2633, or local at (615) 308-2633, I would be pleased to review your claim, I represent hard working people.
Daniel L. McMurtry, Esq.