A person’s application for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) may be denied or their benefits ended if there is a job they’re able to do. That’s the case even if that job isn’t in the profession they were in before they became injured or ill.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) uses a reference called the Dictionary of Occupational Titles that lists thousands of jobs. However, that’s an extremely outdated reference. In fact, the U.S. Department of Labor hasn’t even used it in more than 30 years.
Many of the jobs listed in this reference are either no longer being done because they’re obsolete (for example, cutting out newspaper articles and winding magnetic tape) or they’ve been outsourced to other countries where people are paid very little to do them. Nonetheless, because a lot of these jobs involve little physical exertion or skill, they’re often used as a reason to deny benefits to those seeking SSDI.
According to an investigative report by The Washington Post, the SSA is well aware that the reference it uses is outdated. The agency has reportedly spent hundreds of millions of dollars updating its information over the past couple of decades. However, it’s still not using this updated information when determining people’s eligibility for SSDI benefits.
If you’ve been denied SSDI or your benefits are being discontinued because the SSA says there are jobs out there that you’re able to do even with your disability, it’s important to confirm that these jobs actually exist and are available to you. It may seem like it’s impossible for an individual to successfully go up against the federal bureaucracy, and certainly a behemoth like the SSA. However, with experienced legal guidance, you improve your chances of success.