How Does Social Security Decide That There Are Other Jobs You Can Do?

At the 5th and final step in the Social Security Disability decision-making process, Social Security has to decide whether or not there are other jobs you can still do in spite of the problems you have. If there are other jobs you could still hypothetically do, then you will be found “not disabled.” No matter how serious your problems really are! 

Social Security will identify these jobs and confirm that there are a sufficient number of these jobs somewhere in the US economy. Social Security will not get you one of these jobs. There may not be any of these jobs anywhere near where you live. For instance, Social Security may say that you could still be able to work as a lens inserter or a chicken (poultry) weigher or a security system monitor. These are in fact real jobs that do exist even though many people have never heard of them.  Social Security relies on information provided by the US Department of Labor and other professional sources for information regarding the requirements for these jobs and for the number of these jobs in the economy. People trying to get on disability often say, “Well there aren’t any of those jobs around here” or “I don’t know where I would ever get a job like that.” This doesn’t matter!

If SSA believes that there is some job out there you could still do, then you are “not disabled.” By the way, if you Google “dictionary of occupational titles-poultry weigher,” you will find that this job called a “tare weigher” [Job Code Number 221.587-034]. It is a job in the meat processing field. It involves weighing and re-weighing, recording the weight, and perhaps some trimming.  It requires medium strength, i.e. lifting no more than 50 lbs. occasionally and no more than 25 lbs. frequently. It is a semi-skilled job, i.e. takes 1-3 months to learn. It requires the ability to carry out detailed but uninvolved written or oral instructions, the ability to add, subtract, multiply and divide and do simple fractions/ratios, and to read at the level needed for comic books and adventure stories, and to read simple instructions. In other words, if you think you are disabled, you need PROOF-not just your testimony-that your impairments would prevent you from being able to do a chicken weigher jobor an even easier sit-down job like a security system monitor.

All that a security system monitor has to do is to sit in a nice temperature-controlled room and watch some TV monitors that are connected to hidden cameras in a big-box store like a Wal-Mart. The security system monitor’s job is to contact floor security when they see shop-lifting or an accident or emergency situation in the store. If you are still in good enough shape to do the security system monitor job then Social Security is going to find you “not disabled” unless you have medical proof that you qualify for a presumptive disability condition called a “Listing.” On your initial application, staff persons at the disability determination unit in your State will decide if there are other jobs you can do. If your case is at the Hearing level, the Judge will decide if there is other work you can do based on testimony—under oath—from a vocational expert witness that Social Security hires to advise the judge.  

What’s Next?

If you still have questions about the Social Security process or you are in need of assistance, contact us today. We will help you navigate through this difficult process so you can get the benefits you deserve, as quickly as possible.