The Social Security Administration (SSA) takes a number of factors under consideration when reviewing an application for Social Security Disability (SSD), including: your medical condition, the limitations it places on you, your work history, age, education, experience, and job skills, among others.
The evaluation of your skills is completed so the SSA can determine if you’re completely disabled by your medical condition, or if you may still be able to find and maintain employment in another field in which your skills will allow you to perform the essential job duties despite the limitations of your medical or psychological condition.
With job data obtained through the Department of Labor, the SSA categorizes jobs into broad classifications. The skill set required for successfully performing the work is what determines which job class a position falls under. The classes that the SSA uses are Skilled Work, Semi Skilled Work and Unskilled Work.
Unskilled work is defined as work that doesn’t require you to exercise much if any judgment in order to perform the central job duties. They may or may not require you to have physical strength, dexterity, coordination or other manual labor abilities. Unskilled jobs don’t produce transferable skills and typically require only about 30 days or less to learn to perform all the core job responsibilities successfully.
In reviewing your application for SSD benefits, the SSA will evaluate your medical or psychological condition and the limitations it places on you. The SSA also looks at the job skills you possess. Your skills are compared to the type of jobs available, and your limitations will be reviewed at the same time.
This is done in order to determine if your limitations prevent you from performing work appropriate for your skills. If they do, then you’re disabled according to SSD guidelines and would therefore be eligible for benefits. If however, your skills would allow you to gain and maintain employment, even with your limitations, then you would be denied benefits.