The Social Security Administration (SSA) takes several factors into account when reviewing any application for Social Security Disability (SSD). The medical records contained in your application are a big part of the process, but not the only important information reviewed by the SSA.
The SSA also evaluates your work skills. This is done to determine if your medical condition truly prevents you from working entirely. By determining your skills the SSA is able to identify jobs you may be able to do even with the limitations your medical impairment may place on you.
The SSA uses job data available through the Department of Labor to categorize jobs into broad groups, based on the skill sets required to successfully perform the work. These categories include skilled work, semi-skilled work or unskilled work.
Semi-skilled work is defined as work that doesn’t encompass more complex duties. While positions in this job classification do require you to be alert and pay attention to details, like monitoring machines or processes, it doesn’t require you to have professional level knowledge, training or education in order to perform the essential job functions.
Semi-skilled jobs may include positions in which you’re expected to perform inspections by looking for errors or irregularities, or may require you to take care of or guard materials, property, or equipment. They may additionally require skills such as manual dexterity or physical coordination, like the ability to perform repetitive tasks or operate equipment or machines.
When the SSA looks at your application for SSD benefits, they will evaluate the limitations imposed by your medical or psychological condition. They will also evaluate the skills you possess, and will compare those with the limitations of your medical or psychological condition. In this way, the SSA is able to determine if you are unable to find and maintain gainful employment, which is a central component of the eligibility criteria for receiving SSD benefits.