An Overview of Medical-Vocational Guidelines

When someone applies for Social Security disability, the Social Security Administration assesses their ability to find work using the Medical-Vocational Guidelines. The guidelines are used to determine if there are qualifying jobs available in the community that meet the criteria for the candidate. Additional considerations include age, schooling and prior work history to further determine a person’s disability status.

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Residual Functional Capacity

Residual functional capacity assesses how many jobs you could possibly perform. As a general rule, the older you are, the less likely you are to be able to find work and the more likely that you will be found disabled. However, if you can complete a “significant number” of jobs, you will probably not be found to be disabled.

The vocational counselor with SSD provides this information to the administrative law judges, who acts as a decision maker in your case, and he or she decides what a “significant number” means. In addition, a person might be able to do some types of work but not other jobs, depending on the limitations. For example, he or she might not be able to work at a sedentary job but might be able to work at light duty.

The Role of a Vocational Expert

The vocational expert helps the ALJ determine the applicant’s abilities when there is a question about the candidate’s limits or when there is conflicting information. One of his or her duties is to determine the available number of jobs that an applicant over 50 can perform. The ALJ then decides if that number is “significant.” Additional considerations include relevance, facts, regulations and related factors.

Contact Our SSD Lawyer

If you have questions about RFC, Medical-Vocational Guidelines or other matters related to your SSD case, call our law firm. Our SSD attorney can provide you with legal counsel.

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