Social Security Disability System Found Denying Benefits Based On Nonexistent Occupations
New reports released by The Washington Post recently revealed that the Social Security Disability system has been wrongfully denying benefits to applicants based on an archaic job title system. As a result, those applicants who fail to work with an attorney to help navigate the system are having difficulty obtaining the support that they need.
According to the report, vocational experts hired by the Administration, who are required to advise the judges as to whether applicants are too disabled to continue to work can perform any alternative types of work, are essentially finding that, yes, the applicant can still perform certain job duties, but these are jobs that virtually no longer exist in the U.S. (such as a nut sorter or egg processor); jobs that machines have long taken over for individual employees. As a result, judges deny benefits based on job applicants having “opportunities” in nearly obsolete occupations. Every year, thousands of claimants find themselves in this same position: Blocked at this last crucial step in an already arduous system of applying for disability benefits; all because labor market data has not been updated in 45 years.
Dictionary of Occupational Titles
The system specifically relies on this “Dictionary of Occupational Titles,” which remains the backbone of our $200 billion disability system that is supposed to provide benefits to 15 million people. Unfortunately, the publication was last updated in 1977 by the Department of Labor and a number of the occupations still listed in it have since been outsourced, offshored, and/or shifted elsewhere decades ago, while others have disappeared altogether.
While Social Security officials have been promising to provide updates to the dictionary for the last 14 years, even a recent $250 million overhaul to build a new directory failed to change the status quo, as data indicates that Social Security officials simply aren’t using the new system.
If the vocational expert and judge have found that one or more of the following occupations applies to your case, you may be able to challenge this finding based on how obsolete these positions have become:
- Ampoule Sealer
- Call Out Operator
- Charge Account Clerk
- Clearance Cutter
- Document Preparer, Microfilming
- Election Clerk
- Eyeglass Frame Polisher
- Film Touch Up Inspector
- Loader, Semiconductor Dies
- Nut Sorter
- Parimutuel Ticket Checker
- Press Operator, Pierce and Shave
- Sack Repairer
- Stem Mounter
- Surveillance System Monitor
- Table Worker
- Telephone Quotation Clerk
- Touch Up Screener, Printed Circuit Board Assembly
- Tube Operator
Macon, Georgia Social Security Disability Assistance Attorneys
If you are applying for Social Security disability, or have questions or concerns as an existing claimant, contact our Macon Social Security disability attorneys at the Law Offices of Buzzell, Welsh & Hill today to find out how we can help.