How to file for disability, Filing for SSI
Disability Requirements, Disability Status
How long is the wait?, Disability Application
The Social Security List of Impairments
Qualifying for Disability, Mental Disability
Disability Lawyer Info, Disability Back Pay

What does social security mean by other work?

If you file a claim for Social Security Disability or SSI (or have an appeal of a denied claim: appeals and initial disability applications are evaluated in the same manner) and your case is denied, then your case will have been subjected to a process known as sequential evaluation.

Sequential evaluation is a multi-step process that looks to determine whether or not you have a severe physical or mental impairment, and whether or not that impairment eliminates your ability to do the work you have done in the past, as well as any other type of work that your education and training might make you a candidate for, with consideration to other factors such as your age and residual functional capacity (your RFC is your level of functioning, which is rated after a review of your medical evidence).

When a disability examiner (examiners make decisions on every disability application that is filed at a social security office) reviews a claim, two of their chief goals are to determine A) what a claimant is still capable of doing (i.e. residual functional capacity) and B) whether or not they can still work.

If a claimant does have a severe medical condition, then the disability examiner will compare that individual's remaining physical and mental capabilities to the demands and requirements of their past work (which can potentially include all the jobs that they had in the past fifteen years, known as the relevant work period).

If the examiner finds that the claimant cannot go back to their past work work (which is often the case), then the examiner will then set about the task of deciding whether or not the claimant can do something else. "Something else" is what the social security administration refers to as other work.

What is other work as far as Social Security Disability and SSI are concerned? This is actually where the social security administration's disability evaluation process becomes more hazy. Other work can include many types of jobs that a claimant has never worked, and which might not even exist where a claimant lives.

However, other work must be work for which the mental and physical requirements of the job do not exceed the residual functional capacity of the claimant.

For instance, if the claimant is restricted to a sendentary RFC rating (meaning they can lift no more than ten pounds; essentially a desk-bound job where standing and walking are only required occasionally as needed to carry out the functions of the job), then social security is not allowed to conclude that the claimant is capable of performing light duty or medium duty jobs.

How does this play out in the determination process? In this example, for a claimant to be denied disability benefits, a disability examiner would need to show that there are other jobs available to the claimant that only have sedentary requirements and which the claimant could be expected to do based on A) how old they are, B) their work experience and the skills they have, C) how far they've gone in school (level of education does play a role in the disability determination process), and D) what their physical and mental capabilities are.

Very many disability claims are denied on the basis of a claimant being able to perform some type of other work. Such denials occur when the claimant has never performed such work and even when the jobs cited by the social security administration (allegedly, that the claimant is capable of doing) do not even exist in the claimant's immediate area, or even within their state of residence.

Essential Questions

What is the Social Security Disability SSI list of impairments?

Can you work while getting or applying for Disability?

How Often Does Social Security Approve Disability The First Time You Apply?

Tips for getting Social Security Disability or SSI benefits approved

What medical conditions will get you approved for disability?

What kind of Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?

Receiving a Disability Award Letter

Conditions Social Security will recognize as a disability

Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI

Applying for disability in your state

Most popular topics on SSDRC.com

Social Security Disability SSI Questions

The listings, list of disabling impairments

Can a mental illness qualify you for disability?

Disability Lawyers prevent unnecessary denials

How much Social Security Disability SSI back pay?

How to apply for disability for a child or children

Filing a Social Security Disability SSI application

Filing for disability - when to file

How to apply for disability - where to apply

Qualifications for disability benefits

How to Prove you are disabled and Win your Disability Benefits

Qualifying for Disability - The Process

How to get disability for depression

Getting disability for fibromyalgia

SSI disability for children with ADHD

What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?

Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability

Social Security Disability SSI Exam tips

More Social Security Disability SSI Questions

Social Security Disability SSI definitions

What makes you eligible for Social Security Disability or SSI?

New and featured pages on SSDRC.com

Who can help me file for disability?

Related pages:

Strengthening your disability case by providing the details of your work history
What does Social Security Disability Need to Know about your Work History and Jobs?
You Must Give Social Security Disability Your Work History When You Apply
Will Social Security Decide That I can go Back to My Old Job?
What does social security mean by past work?
What does social security mean by other work?
For Social Security Disability and SSI, What Does It Mean When A person Can Only Do Sedentary Work?
How does Social Security Disability Decide if you can Work or Not?
With 100 percent Veterans Benefits, are you still eligible for disability?
How hard is it to qualify for disability?
If you apply for disability in Kentucky
Disability Lawyer Kentucky

These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.

Can you get temporary Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?

Permanent Social Security Disability

What is the difference between Social Security Disability and SSI?

Who is eligible for SSI disability?

Can I Be Eligible For SSI And Social Security Disability At The Same Time?

What makes a person eligible to receive disability benefits?

Applying for Disability - How long does it take to get Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?

What happens if I file a disability application and it is denied by a disability examiner or Judge?

For the sake of clarity, SSDRC.com is not the Social Security Administration, nor is it associated or affiliated with SSA. This site is a personal, private website that is published, edited, and maintained by former caseworker and former disability claims examiner, Tim Moore, who was interviewed by the New York Times on the topic of Social Security Disability and SSI benefits in an article entitled "The Disability Mess" and also by the Los Angeles Times on the subject of political attempts to weaken the Social Security Disability system.

The goal of the site is to provide information about how Social Security Disability and SSI work, the idea being that qualified information may help claimants pursue their claims and appeals, potentially avoiding time-consuming mistakes. If you find the information on this site helpful and believe it would be helpful to others, feel free to share links to its homepage or other pages on website resource pages, blogs, or social media. Copying of this material, however, is prohibited.

To learn more about the author, please visit the SSDRC.com homepage and view the "about this site" link near the bottom of the page.