Despite spending at least $250 million to modernize its vocational system, Social Security disability programs still rely on 45-year-old job titles to deny thousands of claims a year. So stated a recent story in the Washington Post.
The article noted that: “The jobs are spelled out in an exhaustive publication known as the Dictionary of Occupational Titles. The vast majority of the 12,700 entries were last updated in 1977.”
To mitigate the existing system, it is crucial for anyone applying for Social Security or SSI (Supplemental Security Income) disability benefits to hire an attorney or non-attorney representative who is a member of the National Organization of Social Security Claimants' Representatives and/or the National Association of Disability Representatives and who is familiar with vocational publications such as, Social Security Disability Advocate's Handbook by David Traver and David Ferrari.
The newspaper report was probably correct when it observed:
“Social Security’s delays in updating the database of job titles are rooted in conflicting political considerations, shifting leadership, and the drift that can bedevil large federal projects . . . .[And] many advocates believe the agency is motivated to delay the project so it can deny more claimants benefits.”