|Natalia:||Welcome to the Hill & Ponton disability blog. I’m Natalia Jofre, the director for our Social Security section here at Hill & Ponton.|
|Shelly:||My name is Shelly Campbell. I’m the senior Society Security attorney here.|
|Natalia:||You’ve watched some of our previous blogs, hopefully, where we talked about the sequential evaluation process. Basically, how does Social Security figure out whether you’re disabled or can meet their disability criteria. We have talked about how work, age, education are also determining factors in evaluating your disability.|
|Today, we want to talk a little bit more about work. Specifically, skill level, which can you explain what that is?|
|Shelly:||Sure. As Natalia stated, Social Security is going to look at the past work and determine the physical exertion that was required for the work, and also the skill level. We already discussed the physical exertion. The skill level is basically the amount of time that it takes a person to train to be able to acquire the skill set to perform the duties. That’s going to range on a scale of 1 to 10. There is unskilled work, semi-skilled work, and highly skilled work.|
|Your unskilled work will be work that you could probably learn very quickly and perform quickly. Then, your more highly skilled work is going to be work where you have to have a lot of on-the-job training or formal education.|
|Natalia:||Okay, so let’s go back a little bit. Can you give some examples of semi-skilled versus skilled? Or unskilled?|
|Shelly:||Sure. An unskilled work would probably be that of a cleaner. Now, for semi-skilled, you would get into where if there are more responsibilities as far as organization. You could still have a housekeeper be a semi-skilled position, but it would be more duties involved.|
|Natalia:||So, like if they were a supervisor?|
|Shelly:||Exactly. That’s correct. Then from there, you’re going to move up, depending on the training that’s required. Let’s say an attorney would be a highly skilled position due to the education that’s required, and that would be the same as a mechanic or an electrician because the same education is required, it’s just more on-the-job training.|
|Natalia:||You have- can you say them again?|
|Shelly:||Unskilled, semi-skilled and highly skilled.|
|Natalia:||Okay, so just the three.|
|Natalia:||How does that affect how Social Security evaluates a claim?|
|Shelly:||If Social Security is looking at the claim and the person has performed, say, highly skilled work in the past and they have some limitations that would prevent them from doing that, then in application, Social Security is going to have to determine whether or not they can do work of that skill level or whether they would have to do different work, depending on their limitations.|
|Natalia:||Right. So, if you’re under age 55- we’ll use that as the cutoff- pretty much as long as you can be retrained to do some other type of work, you’re probably not going to be found disabled.|
|Natalia:||That’s a very general scope blanket statement.|
|Shelly:||One of the most important things with the skill level. If an individual is over 55 and their past work has all been highly skilled work, Social Security is not allowed to say that they can perform other jobs that require less skill. That is one time that performing more highly skilled work is beneficial.|
|Natalia:||Oh, all right. So that can really help them.|
|Natalia:||All right. Great. We’re going to talk more about age. Huge determining factor. Yeah. We’ll talk more about age in one of our other blogs, and how that affects your disability or finding a person disabled. But if you have any questions regarding topics we’ve discussed in our blogs, or whether you could potentially qualify for disability benefits, feel free to call our office or visit our website at www.hillandponton.com. Thanks, and we’ll see you next time.|
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