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SSA to update job listings

The Social Security Administration is making changes to various aspects of the Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) program that will be of interest to many of our Ohio clients.

One of the significant changes will involve the job listings. When you apply for disability benefits, your application has to include information on your education, training and job experience, in additional to your medical issues.

This is because in order for your claim for SSDI benefits to be approved, assuming the validity of your medical condition, the SSA must determine if there are other types of work you may be able to still perform.

For instance, if you were a construction worker, is there some more sedentary work for which you are still qualified. To accomplish this, the SSA has a compilation of job descriptions that it uses to identify other potential jobs.

This dictionary of listings has more than 10,000 occupations, but has not been updated since 1991. They still list “blacksmith,” but are missing many jobs that have evolved with technology and the internet.

Many of these new technology jobs could be done by someone a bad back and who can no longer stand for hours or lift heavy items. Of course, you would need the proper skills or training to do this work. And these jobs would need to be available locally, in Ohio, for most of our clients.

Given the size and complexity of the listings, it is expected to take until at least 2016. And if the agency remains underfunded, it may take longer than that.

Source: Wall Street Journal, “Six Changes Social Security is Making to its Disability Program,” Damian Peletta, December 26, 2013

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