Take the following steps to complete the TSA:
Step 1 – Review the claimant’s job description, but do not rely solely upon the title. Note the processes, tools, machines, and materials used and the products or services that result from the claimant’s efforts. Identify skills that may be useable in other work.
Social Security Ruling 82-41 states that “[t]he claimant is in the best position to describe just what he or she did in PRW, how it was done, what exertion was involved, what skilled or semiskilled work activities were involved, etc. Neither an occupational title by itself nor a skeleton description is sufficient.”
Use the claimant’s own job description to determine what skills have been acquired.
Step 2 – Identify the claimant’s PRW in the Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT) to make a judgment about the level of skills the claimant may have gained. If the job description is inadequate at Step 4, the TSA will be wrong.
Step 3 – Review the claimant’s vocational factors (skill level of past work, applicability of skill, RFC, and age) to get an idea of how extensive a search you should make for other potential occupations.
Step 4 – Search for occupations related to the claimant’s PRW using the same or similar:
guide for occupational exploration (GOE) code;
materials, products, subject matter, and services (MPSMS) code;
occupation group (first three digits of DOT code); or
Step 5 – Make a list of possible occupations, excluding any occupations that are unskilled, at an SVP higher than the claimant’s PRW, or that are not within the claimant’s RFC.
Step 6 – Compare the DOT description of duties of each of the occupations on your list with PRW duties (including composite jobs) described by the claimant.
Step 7 – Consider all relevant vocational sources and make a judgment about whether skills gained in PRW are useable in other work within the claimant’s RFC or MRFC.
Step 8 – Support your decision. If you determine skills are not transferable, briefly describe the extent of your search. If you determine skills are transferable, identify both:
the transferable skills; and
the occupations to which the acquired work skills are transferable.
IMPORTANT: You generally must cite at least three occupations when documenting capacity for other types of work. However, you may cite fewer than three if the occupation(s) provide enough jobs that clearly there are a significant number of jobs in the national economy within the cited occupation(s). This evidence may be VS statements based on expert personal knowledge or substantiation by information contained in the publications listed in regulations sections 404.1566(d) and 416.966(d).