What Does Social Security Mean by “Other Work”?

by Editorial Board on December 6, 2010 · 2 comments

in Questions & Answers,Capability to Work (Step 5),Vocational or Work Issues,Why People Are Denied

If Social Security does not believe that you meet or equal a disability listing or are disabled under a grid rule, they will award your case only if they believe you cannot do your past work or “other work”.

What kinds of jobs does Social Security look at to decide if you can do other work?  Social Security will only consider jobs that meet these following three requirements.  First, the job must be an unskilled job, meaning you can do the job without any past experience in that area.  Social Security will only look at whether you can do semi-skilled or skilled work if you have skills from your past work or schooling that qualifies you to do the other job.

Second, the job must be full time, meaning those who do that job work about 40 hours per week and year-round.  Seasonal jobs do not count.  Lastly, the job must exist in significant numbers in the regional and national economies.  Social Security has not made clear what counts as “significant numbers”.  However, if there are 1,000 or less positions in the regional economy that job will usually be thrown out.

Another way to look at the concept of “other work” is that it could be any job you would be qualified for, located anywhere in the national economy.  Said another way it can be any job, anywhere.  To win disability benefits you need to be unable to do your past work and “other work” (any job, anywhere.)

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