TN 5 (04-17)

DI 25005.025 Past Relevant Work (PRW) as Generally Performed in the National Economy

Citations: 20 CFR §§ 404.1560 and 416.960

Social Security Ruling (SSR) 82-61 Past Relevant Work—The Particular Job or the Occupation as Generally Performed.

A. Evaluating work as generally performed in the national economy

To evaluate a claimant’s work as generally performed in the national economy, locate the occupational counterpart for the claimant’s job in the Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT).

If there is no occupational counterpart in the DOT, you cannot evaluate past relevant (PRW) as generally performed in the national economy unless you have evidence from other reliable occupational information that provides this. See DI 25015.030, Use of Vocational Expert and Vocational Specialist Evidence, and Other Reliable Occupational Information in Disability Decisions—SSR 00-4p.

NOTE: When evaluating PRW the claimant performed in the military, do not use a “civilian” counterpart to a military job to conclude that the claimant could perform his or her past relevant work “as generally performed in the national economy.” If the military occupation is not defined in the DOT, the step 4 determination for these cases is an analysis of the claimant’s ability to perform his or her military occupation as he or she performed the job. The DOT does not provide information about the physical and mental demands of all military occupations, so we are not always able to evaluate military occupations as generally performed in the national economy unless we have evidence from other reliable occupational information that provides this. Therefore, if the claimant’s military occupation is not in the DOT and if the claimant is unable to perform his or her military PRW as he or she describes it, proceed to step 5. At step 5 of sequential evaluation, a claimant may be able to use skills he or she gained from skilled or semiskilled military PRW to adjust to other work.

B. Locating occupations in the DOT

A job title alone is never sufficient to identify an occupation in the DOT.

Before determining that there is no DOT occupational counterpart to a claimant’s PRW, search by:

  • the title of the job as given by the claimant;

  • possible alternative wording for the title;

  • major tasks in the job; and

  • the industry of the job.

C. Types of work that may not have a DOT counterpart

The following types of work may not have a DOT counterpart:

  • work performed in a foreign country;

  • work made up of components of more than one DOT occupation (see Composite Jobs, DI 25005.020B);

  • work in isolated industries;

  • work not sampled by the Department of Labor;

  • work that has arisen since the last DOT update; and

  • work performed in the military.


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DI 25005.025 - Past Relevant Work (PRW) as Generally Performed in the National Economy - 04/27/2017
Batch run: 04/27/2017
Rev:04/27/2017