Chat with us, powered by LiveChat Social Security Begins to Address Growing Concern About Its Antiquated Job Database by Removing Over One Hundred Jobs  - Law Office Of Katherine Roe

Social Security Begins to Address Growing Concern About Its Antiquated Job Database by Removing Over One Hundred Jobs 

The final step (Step 5) of the Agency’s disability determination process is to determine if an
applicant can perform any work with their limitations. At the hearing level, and the judge
will ask an expert, known as a Vocational Expert (VE), to testify to jobs that the claimant
could perform in the economy. VEs must rely on Social Security’s database of available
jobs, the Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT), to come to their conclusion. The DOT has
received considerable critique from lawyers, advocates, and even judges about its
shortcomings. Chief among the complaints is that the DOT has not been overhauled since
1977 and was last updated in 1991. This means many jobs, some of which no longer exist,
can be cited as valid job alternatives and used to deny an individual benefits. In 2012, the
Agency began building a new database, the Occupational Information System (OIS), but 12
years and $259 million later, nothing has rolled out and there is no projected end date.

On June 22, 2024, the Agency signaled that it is willing to make changes in the interim. This
update, the first in more than 30 years, will prevent VEs from citing 114 jobs currently in the
DOT. The Agency concluded that these jobs exist in such few numbers today, if at all, that
they cannot be used to support a finding of “not disabled.” The Agency also identified 13
other jobs that will be barred from use unless a VE can present evidence to why the job is
not obsolete in a specific case.

The list of 114 banned jobs includes canary breeder, scuba diver, and reptile farmer. The 13
jobs that require additional evidence from the VE include nut sorter, microfilm processor,
and dance hall host. While it’s not a complete solution, removing these outdated jobs is a
move in the right direction for providing claimants with a more fair disability determination
process.

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