When determining whether you are disabled and entitled to Social Security Disability benefits, the Social Security Administration needs to decide what type of work activity you can perform. The SSA categorizes the types of work a disability applicant can accomplish into many different categories. Three of these categories are skilled work, semi-skilled work or unskilled work. Skilled work is the category that encompasses job skills that are more complex and varied. These jobs usually require higher education and a higher degree of training. Lawyers, doctors and teachers are examples of applicants who may have performed skilled work in the past.
Skilled work is a type of work that entails high levels of mental ability and problem-solving skills. Jobs that require skilled work generally require intellectual judgment and reasoning skills. For example, a person who operates a printing press would be a skilled worker. They would need to know how to run the press, how to feed the paper into the press, how to manage the ink settings and perform the other operations necessary for the successful outcome of a printing job. Skilled work may also be something as simple as understanding how to deal with people in stressful situations (such as customer service) and how to think out abstract ideas.
When the Social Security Administration is reviewing whether or not you are able to work when making a determination of your Social Security Disability claim, the adjudicator who is reviewing your file will evaluate whether or not you are able to perform Skilled Work. They will decide whether or not the skills you have may be able to be transferred to a different job in the national workforce, assuming that you are unable to continue the type of job that you have been performing in the past.