Identification Number:
DI 22515 TN 6
Intended Audience:See Transmittal Sheet
Originating Office:ORDP ODP
Title:Vocational Evidence
Type:POMS Transmittals
Program:Disability
Link To Reference:
 

PROGRAM OPERATIONS MANUAL SYSTEM
Part DI – Disability Insurance
Chapter 225 – Case Development Procedures
Subchapter 15 – Vocational Evidence
Transmittal No. 6, 11/21/2018

Audience

PSC: DE, DEC;
ODD-DDS: ADJ, DHU;
OCO-OEIO: CR, ERE, FCR, FDE, RECONE;
OCO-ODO: DE, DEC, DS, RECONE;

Originating Component

ODP

Effective Date

Upon Receipt

Background

We reviewed and revised our instructions for vocational development. This transmittal provides adjudicator instructions to view and save a query in the electronic folder. It also explains that if an adjudicator uses a query for vocational development, the adjudicator must include it in the file.

Summary of Changes

DI 22515.020 Resolving Insufficient Vocational Evidence using a Detail Earnings Query (DEQY) or a Summary Earnings Query (SEQY)

  • Added instructions to view and save a query in the electronic folder.

  • Added the requirement to include a query in the file if the adjudicator uses a query in vocational development.

  • Made editorial and formatting changes throughout.

DI 22515.020 Resolving Insufficient Vocational Evidence using a Detail Earnings Query (DEQY) or a Summary Earnings Query (SEQY)

A. Using a query to resolve insufficient evidence

When developing or resolving vocational evidence you are not required to use

  • DEQY or

  • SEQY or

  • Other queries

The queries are not essential tools for gathering or resolving vocational evidence. Queries provide general earnings information not information about the type of work performed.

1. DEQY

The DEQY displays requested earnings information and related data.

To request detailed record information, including identification of employers, an individual may complete the Request for Social Security Earnings Information form SSA-7050-F4.

The DEQY printout displays data extracted from the Master Earnings File (MEF) and the Employer Identification File (EIF).The printout reflects user requested information in three parts:

  • Input, related SSN and special legend header lines

  • Posted detail data, and

  • Remarks.

2. SEQY

A SEQY allows you to compare earnings by year with the information on the Disability report SSA-3368-BK or Work history SSA-3369-BK.

The SEQY provides the year and earnings amount only to assist the claimant with remembering his or her work for that year.

B. Obtaining a DEQY via International Business Machine Personal Communications (PCOM) or eView

1. DEQY via PCOM

To obtain a DEQY via International Business Machine Personal Communications PCOMM, y ou enter "9" on the Master File Query Menu (MFQM) then complete the required fields.

2. DEQY via eView

To obtain a DEQY via eView:

  1. a. 

    Open eView

  2. b. 

    Go to case documents tab

  3. c. 

    Select the Queries heading; Query Selection Screen opens

  4. d. 

    Select the DEQY tab if not already selected.The DEQY cannot have more than 5 request type values. The user has the option to remove or add the values requested in eView.

 

Default Request Type Values
1. Covered Details
4. All Non-Covered Details
5. Pension
7. Special Wage Payment
8. Employer Address

 

Available Request Type Values
1. Covered Details
2. Self-Employment
3. MQGE & Health Insurance
4. All Non-Covered Details
5. Pension
6. Railroad
7. Special Wage Payment
8. Employer Address
9. Last Employer Address

 

  1. a. 

    Enter the relevant period years into “Inclusive Years”.

  2. b. 

    Highlight

    1. 1. 

      Covered Details,

    2. 2. 

      Self-Employment, and

    3. 3. 

      Employer Address. (Use the control key to highlight multiple fields.)

  3. c. 

    Select “Add”.

  4. d. 

    Select “View & Save to EF” button to include the query in the EF.

C. Obtaining a SEQY via PCOM or eView

1. SEQY via PCOM

To obtain an SEQY query via PCOM, follow the procedure in MS QUERIES 003.004.

2. SEQY via eView

To obtain a SEQY via eView:

  1. a. 

    Open eView

  2. b. 

    Go to case documents tab

  3. c. 

    Select the Queries heading; Query Selection Screen opens

  4. d. 

    When the Query Selection Screen opens, select the SEQY tab

  5. e. 

    Enter the relevant period years into “Inclusive Years”

  6. f. 

    Select “View & Save to EF” button to include the query in the EF

D. Required actions when using a query to resolve insufficient vocational evidence

Take the following steps if you decide to use a DEQY or SEQY or other query to address earnings in the claimant’s work history.

1. Include the query in the EF

Select the “View & Save to EF” button in eView.

When you select “View & Save to EF” the returned results are displayed and saved in the EF in the default location under the Case Documents tab. Access to the Queries is based on the user profile. Only users who have access to the query outside of eView will be able to receive query results within eView.

NOTE: For a paper case, or if you are unable to save the query to the EF, you will need to include a copy of the query in the EF or paper case.

2. Vocational review and development

Match the claimant’s job information in forms and evidence with:

  • the yearly earnings listed on the query, or

  • the earnings from each employer for the year within the relevant work period, see DI 25001.001A.64.

If you can match the claimant’s work to the earnings for a year, no additional development is necessary.

You must develop job information for any year that has an earnings level above the substantial gainful activitity (SGA) level for one month for which there is no corresponding job information since individuals can learn unskilled work in 30 days or less.

If the earnings for a year are not at or above the yearly SGA level, then you must:

  • determine how many months the claimant worked at the job and

  • use the monthly SGA chart to determine whether the job was SGA.

If there are earnings for years that the claimant did not list a job, then you must:

  • reasonably match the earnings to a job listed by the claimant for another year, or

  • contact the claimant to obtain additional information about work in those years.

EXAMPLE: The claimant indicates he worked from 2001-2002 earning $15,000 each year. If the query shows the claimant worked from 2000 to 2001 earning $15,000 each year you may to conclude that the claimant described this work but remembered the years worked incorrectly.

For more information on countable earnings for nonblind employees, see DI 25001.001A.82.

3. Explain query use

  1. a. 

    Address material inconsistencies between any query and job information in forms, evidence, or other statements.

  2. b. 

    Explain how you reconciled any material inconsistencies to reach a conclusion about the job at issue.

4. Items not material inconsistencies

  1. a. 

    Gaps in the claimant’s reported work history when the work history is documented, unless you find

    • material inconsistencies in what the claimant reported at different times, or

    • different documents, or

    • a material conflict between what is reported and other evidence in file;

  2. b. 

    Differences between official employer names on a query and the employer names reported by a claimant (queries list the name of the parent corporation which may be different from a subsidiary employer); and

  3. c. 

    Differences between official employer names on a query and the work the claimant reports (queries do not describe the type of work that a claimant did).

E. Required actions when unable to resolve material earnings inconsistencies

1. Refer questions to the field office

If the issue is material to the case, and you cannot resolve material inconsistencies between earnings information in forms, evidence, other statements, or a query, refer questions about work activity that the field office (FO) may be able to resolve to the FO. For more information about work activities development responsibilities, see DI 24501.005.

2. Make determination with evidence in the file

If the claimant or another individual familiar with the claimant’s past work cannot provide the requested information and that information is material to the disability determination, (meaning that expedited vocational assessment at steps 4 and 5 of sequential evaluation does not apply), you must make a determination based on the evidence in file.

In that case, if you are unable to find the claimant not disabled at step 2 of sequential evaluation because he or she does not have a severe medically determinable impairment or disabled at step 3 of sequential evaluation, you must find the claimant not disabled due to insufficient vocational evidence to make a determination at step 4 of sequential evaluation.

F. Office of Qualifty Review (OQR) quality reviewers' procedure no query in file

When there is no query in file, OQR quality reviewers:

  • Must not obtain a query even if it appears that a material inconsistency in the claimant’s work history could be resolved with the information from the query.

  • Should return the case when material inconsistencies exist, specifying for the Disability Determination Services (DDS) the inconsistencies that need to be resolved and explained.

  • Should not instruct the DDS to obtain a query or specify how the disability adjudicator should address any material inconsistency identified by the quality reviewer.

G. OQR quality reviewers' procedures query in file

When there is a query in file, OQR quality reviewers:

  • May use a query (but only the same query that is in the file); and

  • May cite deficiencies based on the information the query contains.

H. References

  • DI 10005.010 Field Office (FO) and Disability Determination Services (DDS) Exchange of Information and Coordination of Actions

  • DI 22505.020 Developing Evidence through a Field Office (FO) or Another Disability Determination Services (DDS)

  • DI 23007.005 Failure to Cooperate With Requests to the Claimant for Evidence or Action

  • DI 24001.005 Work Activity Development Responsibilities

  • DI 25001.001 Medical and Vocational Quick Reference Guide

  • DI 81020.100 Electronic Assistance Requests (AR)


DI 22515 TN 6 - Vocational Evidence - 11/21/2018