Vocational Factors

Part of the five step process the SSA uses to determine your eligibility for Social Security Disability benefits includes an assessment of what are known as vocational factors. The key vocational factors are:

  • Age
  • Education/Training
  • Work Experience

When interviewing an applicant for Social Security Disability benefits, the SSA asks a set of five questions. After verifying that you are not working and have a severe illness or injury, the SSA will review whether you can still complete your previous job. If the answer is yes, you will be denied Social Security Disability. If it is no, you will be asked if you are able to do any other kind of work. This is where your vocational factors come into play.

Old age is one vocational factor, which is considered to be a disadvantage when starting a new career or learning new job tasks. Thus, the SSA understands that individuals over the age of 45 cannot easily adapt to a new profession.

Education is another vocational factor which the SSA examines when determining if you are able to work in any field. Social Security considers your literacy, education, as well as your ability to speak English.

Finally, the SSA examines skills learned for previous jobs and evaluates whether these skills are transferable to a new job.

If medical evidence does not solidify your eligibility for Social Security Disability benefits, these vocational factors may help you to be approved for disability benefits.