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Why your SSDI claim may be denied if you can do an obsolete job

On Behalf of | Jan 13, 2023 | Social Security Disability

One of the reasons many people’s applications for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) are denied is that the Social Security Administration (SSA) contends that there are jobs out there that people can still do, even with their limitations. The problem is that many of the jobs on SSA’s list are obsolete or have been outsourced to other countries. Some, like cutting out newspaper articles, winding magnetic tape and operating pneumatic tubes, for example, are virtually obsolete. 

These jobs, however, are still listed in the Dictionary of Occupational Titles. Although the U.S. Department of Labor hasn’t used this reference in over 30 years, the SSA still does refer to it when they review people’s SSDI applications and assess their ability to continue to earn an income rather than rely on disability benefits. Because many of these jobs that no longer exist in the U.S. are unskilled and don’t require much physical labor, they’re considered options for those who can’t work in their usual profession.

According to an extensive investigative piece by The Washington Post, the SSA has been aware of this problem for years and has even invested millions of dollars to update it. However, the agency is still using the old one and denying SSDI benefits to claimants because they’re supposedly able to do one or more of these jobs that are a rarity at most.

Don’t try to deal with the SSA on your own

It’s important to remember that when you’re dealing with the SSA, you’re dealing with an agency of the federal government. Like most other federal agencies, it is huge, unwieldy and still uses archaic sources and methods. 

That’s not something you have time to deal with when you can no longer work because of a serious injury or illness. That’s why it’s worthwhile to seek legal guidance to increase your chances that your claim will be approved.