Social Security Denies Disability Benefits Using Outdated Job List

When applying for Social Security disability benefits, claimants are reviewed to see if they are capable of working other jobs that exist “in significant numbers”. However, the list of jobs they use is from a publication called the Dictionary of Occupational Titles which was published in 1977 and includes outdated positions like a nut sorter, a dowel inspector, and an egg processor.

According to an article published by The Washington Post, “It lists 137 unskilled, sedentary jobs — jobs that most closely match the skills and limitations of those who apply for disability benefits. But in reality, most of these occupations were offshored, outsourced, and shifted to skilled work decades ago. Many have disappeared altogether. Since the 1990s, Social Security officials have deliberated over how to revise the list of occupations to reflect jobs that actually exist in the modern economy, according to audits and interviews. For the last 14 years, the agency has promised courts, claimants, government watchdogs and Congress that a new, state-of-the-art system representing the characteristics of modern work would soon be available to improve the quality of its 2 million disability decisions per year.”

Related pages: Social Security Disability