TN 6 (03-10)

DI 25001.001 Medical-Vocational Quick Reference Guide

Citations:

Social Security Act - Sections 216(i)(1) , 223(d)(2) , 1614 (a)(3)(A) and 1614 (a)(3)(B) ;

Regulations - 20 CFR 404.1520 , 416.920 , 404.1545 through 404.1567 , 416.965 through 416.967 ;

Social Security Rulings - SSR 82-30 , SSR 82-40 , SSR 82-41 , SSR 82-61 ,SSR 82-62 , SSR 82-63 , SSR 83-10 , SSR 83-11 , SSR 83-12 , SSR 83-14 , SSR 85-15 , SSR 96-8p , SSR 96-9p , SSR 00-4p , SSR 03-3p ,

The Appendix of The Selected Characteristics of Occupations Defined in the Dictionary of Occupational Titles

A. Introduction

  • Commonly applied vocational concepts are summarized in this subchapter.

  • Commonly used terms for medical-vocational evaluations are defined in this subchapter.

  • Terms relating to jobs or occupations have the same definition that the Department of Labor uses in its publications, such as the Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT) or the Selected Characteristics of Occupations Defined in the Dictionary of Occupational Titles (SCO).

  • Words with a two-letter acronym after them are rated in the SCO using that acronym.

B. Quick Reference Guide

1. Accommodation (Ac)

Adjustment of the lens of the eye to bring an object into sharp focus.

2. Additional vocational adversities

Consider additional vocational adversities when deciding to use a claimant’s chronological age in a borderline age issue. Additional vocational adversities can be in a claimant’s residual functional capacity (RFC), education, or work experience. See DI 25015.005 for the borderline age issue definition. See DI 25015.001 for additional information on adversities.

  • RFC: In borderline age issues, the adjudicator considers if limitations and restrictions in the RFC that affect, but do not substantially erode, a claimant’s remaining occupational base are additional vocational adversities.

    EXAMPLE: A claimant aged 49 years and 10 months who cannot do past relevant work (PRW) with a sedentary RFC, 12th grade education, and unskilled work will meet medical-vocational rule 201.12 at attainment of age 50. The claimant has reduced hearing ability. Because this limitation affects, but does not substantially erode, the sedentary occupational base, the adjudicator should consider whether it might be an additional vocational adversity.

  • Education: When using a medical-vocational rule that expresses education as a continuum, the adjudicator may consider facts falling at the lower end of the continuum to be an additional vocational adversity.

    EXAMPLE: An individual who is 54 years, 9 months of age with a light RFC, unskilled medium work experience and a 5th grade education will meet medical-vocational rule 202.01 at attainment of age 55. The rule requires limited or less education (11th grade or less). The adjudicator should consider whether education may be an additional vocational adversity if the individual has an education at the lower end of the rule continuum.

    Illiteracy or inability to communicate in English is defined as the inability to read or write a simple message such as instructions or inventory lists. As such, illiteracy or inability to communicate in English can only be considered to be an additional vocational adversity when using a special medical-vocational profile, or if an individual is a few days to a few months of attaining advanced age, has a medium RFC and no past relevant work, or is a few days to a few months of “closely approaching retirement age,” has a medium RFC, cannot do past work, and has unskilled or no work experience (medical-vocational rules 203.10, 203.02, 203.01). In all other instances, illiteracy or inability to communicate in English will already be material to the allowance and cannot be used again as an additional adversity.

    EXAMPLE: A claimant aged 44 years, 10 months with a sedentary RFC, unskilled medium work experience, who is illiterate or unable to communicate in English would meet medical-vocational rule 201.17 at attainment of age 45. Because the claimant must be illiterate or unable to communicate in English to meet this rule, the adjudicator could only consider whether the claimant had additional RFC or work experience-related adversities.

  • Work experience: Because no past relevant work is more adverse than other work experience categories, the adjudicator considers whether no past relevant work might be an additional vocational adversity except when using a rule that an individual can meet only by having no past relevant work experience.

    EXAMPLE: Medical-vocational rule 203.02 requires no past relevant work, so “no past relevant work” could not be considered an additional adversity when using this rule.

    Medical-vocational rule 203.01 requires unskilled or no past relevant work experience. No past relevant work could be considered an additional adversity when using this rule because it is a more adverse vocational factor than unskilled past relevant work.

  • Isolated industry: The adjudicator should consider whether work in an isolated industry might be an additional vocational adversity.

    EXAMPLE: A claimant aged 54 years 11 months with a 10th grade education, a light RFC and past medium skilled work with no transferable skills meets medical-vocational 202.02 at attainment of age 55. If the claimant’s past relevant work was as a salmon fisherman, this could be considered a job in an isolated industry. Such work experience could be an additional adversity that could be considered in a borderline age issue.

3. Age

Refers to chronological age and the extent to which it affects a claimant’s ability to adjust to other work. See DI 25015.005 for additional information on age as a vocational factor.

  • A claimant reaches a particular age the day before his or her birthday. (GN 00302.400).

  • There are three age categories and two age subcategories.

  • The medical-vocational rules use the subcategory “younger individual age 45-49” in the sedentary medical-vocational table and “closely approaching retirement age” in the medium medical-vocational table.

    • Categories

      1. Younger individual - under age 50

      2. Closely approaching advanced age - age 50-54

      3. Advanced age - age 55 or over

    • Subcategories

      1. Younger individual age 45-49

      2. Closely approaching retirement age - age 60 or older

4. Arduous work

  • Physical work requiring a high level of strength or endurance.

  • May be arduous if it demands a great deal of stamina such as repetitive bending or lifting at a very fast pace.

  • Generally, physical demands are classified as heavy.

  • See DI 25010.001B for additional information on arduous work.

5. Atmospheric conditions (AC)

An environmental factor, rated in the SCO, meaning exposure to conditions such as fumes, noxious odors, dusts, mists, gases, and poor ventilation that affect the respiratory system, eyes, or the skin.

6. Balancing (Ba)

Maintaining body equilibrium to prevent falling when walking, standing, crouching, or running on narrow, slippery, or erratically moving surfaces; or maintaining body equilibrium when performing gymnastic feats.

7. Borderline age issue

A borderline age issue exists when a claimant is within a few days to a few months from the next higher age category and:

  • Use of the higher age category results in a finding of “disabled,” and

  • Use of the chronological age category results in a finding of “not disabled.”

See DI 25015.005 for additional information about borderline age issues.

8. Carrying

Transporting an object; usually holding it in the hands, arms, or on the shoulder.

9. Climbing (Cl)

Ascending or descending ladders, stairs, scaffolding, ramps, poles, ropes, and the like, using the feet and legs or hands and arms.

10. Color vision (CV)

Ability to identify and distinguish colors.

11. Composite job

Work that has a blend of tasks from several different occupations. The main duties of a composite job will only be adequately described by multiple DOT occupations.

12. Constantly

Use of this term in the RFC or SCO means that the activity or condition occurs two-thirds or more of an eight hour day.

13. Crawling (Cw)

Moving about on the hands and knees or hands and feet.

14. Crouching (Co)

Bending the body downward and forward by bending the legs and spine.

15. Depth perception (DP)

Ability to judge distances and spatial relationships to see objects where and as they actually are in three dimensional vision.

16. DOT worker function codes

  • The first three digits of a DOT code identify the occupational group.

  • The middle three digits of the DOT code reflect the worker functions (see chart).

  • The last three digits of the DOT code are the unique identifier of the occupation.

Worker functions – The Middle Three Codes

Code

Data 4th Digit

Code

People 5th Digit

Code

Things 6th Digit

0

Synthesizing

0

Mentoring

0

Setting up

1

Coordinating

1

Negotiating

1

Precision Working

2

Analyzing

2

Instructing

2

Operating-Controlling

3

Compiling

3

Supervising

3

Driving-Operating

4

Computing

4

Diverting

4

Manipulating

5

Copying

5

Persuading

5

Tending

6

Comparing

6

Speaking-Signaling

6

Feeding-Off Bearing

  

7

Serving

7

Handling

  

8

Taking Instructions- Helping

  

17. Education

Formal schooling or other training that contributes to a claimant’s ability to meet vocational requirements (e.g., reasoning ability, communication skills, and arithmetical ability). See DI 25015.010 for additional information on education as a vocational factor.

  • Ability to communicate in English.

  • For adjudicative purposes, education is classified into five categories:

  1. Illiterate or Unable to Communicate in English

    The inability to read English, or

    The inability to write English, or

    The inability to speak or understand English, or

    Any combination of the above.

    Regardless of formal education level, this category should be applied to claimants who cannot speak, understand, read, or write a simple message in English such as instructions or inventory lists.

  2. Marginal Education

    Formal schooling completed at a level of 6th grade or less.

  3. Limited Education

    Formal schooling completed at a level of 7th through 11th grade.

  4. High School Education or Above

    Formal schooling completed at a level of 12th grade and above. Generally, a GED certificate is considered in this category.

  5. Recent Education that Provides for Direct Entry into Skilled Work

    Recent education that allows a claimant to do a particular semi-skilled or skilled job.

18. Environmental conditions

Conditions that may exist in work environments such as extremes in temperature, humidity, noise, vibrations, fumes, odors, presence of toxic substances, dust, poor ventilation, or hazards.

19. Environmental limitation

An impairment-related inability to tolerate exposure to one or more environmental conditions in a workplace. See DI 25020.015 for additional information on environmental limitations.

20. Exertional activity

One of the primary strength activities (i.e., sitting, standing, walking, lifting, carrying, pushing, and pulling).

21. Exertional level

A work classification defining the functional requirements of work in terms of the range of the primary strength activities required (i.e., sedentary, light, medium, heavy, and very heavy).

Limits of Weights Lifted/Carried or Force Exerted by Strength Level

Rating

Occasionally

Frequently

Constantly

Sedentary

* to 10

*

N/A

Light

* to 20

* to 10

*

Medium

20 to 50

10 to 25

* to 10

Heavy

50 to 100

25 to 50

10 to 20

Very Heavy

100+

50+

20+

*=Negligible Weight; N/A= Not applicable

Note: Lifting and carrying requirements are from Appendix A of the 4th Edition of the DOT and reflect how Department of Labor analysts classified jobs into a particular strength level.

Per 20 CFR 404.1567 and 416.967 , SSA uses the strength classifications that are in the Dictionary of Occupational Titles.

22. Exertional limitation

An impairment-related limitation that reduces the capacity to sit, stand, walk, lift, carry, push, or pull.

23. Exposure to weather (We)

An environmental factor rated in the SCO meaning exposure to outside atmospheric conditions.

24. Exposure to electrical shock (ES)

An environmental factor rated in the SCO meaning possible bodily injury from electrical shock.

25. Exposure to radiation (Ra)

An environmental factor rated in the SCO meaning possible bodily injury from radiation.

26. Exposure to toxic, caustic chemicals (TC)

An environmental factor rated in the SCO meaning possible bodily injury from toxic or caustic chemicals.

27. Extreme cold (Co)

An environmental factor rated in the SCO meaning exposure to nonweather-related cold temperatures.

28. Extreme heat (Ho)

An environmental factor rated in the SCO meaning exposure to nonweather-related hot temperatures.

29. Far acuity (FA)

Clarity of vision at 20 feet or more.

30. Feeling (Fe)

Perceiving attributes of objects and materials such as size, shape, temperature, or texture, by means of receptors in the skin, particularly those of the fingertips.

31. Field of vision (FV)

Observing an area that can be seen up and down or to the right or left while eyes are fixed on a given point.

32. Fingering (Fi)

Picking, pinching, or otherwise working with the fingers primarily (rather than with the whole hand or arm as in “Handling”).

33. Framework decision

A decision that is not “directed” by a particular rule in Appendix 2 (Medical-Vocational Guidelines) but uses the Appendix 2 rules as adjudicative guidance.

34. Frequently

Use of this term in the SCO or RFC means occurs one-third to two-thirds

of an eight-hour workday.

35. Frequency of physical demands in the SCO

SCO Code

Frequency

Definition

N

Not Present

Activity or condition does not exist.

O

Occasionally

Activity or condition exists up to one-third of the time.

F

Frequently

Activity or condition exists from one-third to two-thirds of the time.

C

Constantly

Activity or condition exists two-thirds or more of the time.

36. Full range of work

All or substantially all of the unskilled occupations existing at an exertional level.

37. Handling (Ha)

Seizing, holding, grasping, turning, or otherwise working with the hand or hands. Fingers are involved only to the extent that they are an extension of the hand.

38. Hearing (He)

Perceiving the nature of sounds by ear.

39. Heavy work

  • See DI 25001.001B.21. for lifting and carrying requirements.

  • Walking or standing for a significant part of the day.

  • Generally includes the functional capacity to perform medium, light, and sedentary work.

40. Job

A position within an establishment with significant tasks.

  • May be performed slightly differently at different work sites.

  • EXAMPLE: A waitress at one restaurant may take orders and check to make sure everything is satisfactory. An assistant carries the food to the table. A waitress at another restaurant may be required to take the order and carry the food to the table.

41. Kneeling (Kn)

Bending the legs at the knees to come to rest on the knee or knees.

42. Lifetime commitment to a field of work

  • Thirty years or more of work in one field.

  • Does not have to be for the same employer.

  • Work should be of a similar nature.

  • See DI 25010.001B.3 for additional information on lifetime commitment.

43. Lifting

Raising or lowering an object from one level to another. Includes upward pulling.

44. Light work

  • See DI 25001.001B.21. for lifting and carrying requirements.

  • Usually requires walking or standing for approximately 6 hours of the day.

  • Many unskilled light jobs are performed primarily in one location, with the ability to stand being more critical than the ability to walk.

  • Even though the weight lifted may be only a negligible amount, an occupation is rated as light when it requires walking or standing to a significant degree, sitting most of the time while pushing or pulling arm or leg controls, or working at a production rate pace while constantly pushing or pulling materials even though the weight of the materials is negligible.

  • Usually requires only occasional, rather than frequent stooping and no crouching.

  • Usually involves grasping, holding and turning objects, but does not require use of the fingers for fine activities to the extent required in much sedentary work.

  • Generally includes the functional capacity to perform sedentary work.

45. Material discrepancy

A discrepancy that affects the ultimate decision of “disabled” or “not disabled”

46. Maximum sustained work capacity

The highest functional level a person can perform on a regular and continuing basis.

47. Medium work

  • See DI 25001.001B.21. for lifting and carrying requirements.

  • Being able to frequently lift or carry objects weighing up to 25 pounds is often more critical than being able to lift up to 50 pounds at a time.

  • Usually requires frequent stooping and crouching.

  • Very few medium occupations in the national economy are performed primarily in a seated position.

  • Only the ability to grasp, hold and turn objects is usually necessary as opposed to the finer activities in much sedentary work, which requires precision use of the fingers.

  • Usually requires walking or standing for approximately 6 hours of the day.

  • Generally includes the functional capacity to perform sedentary and light work.

48. Near acuity (NA)

Clarity of vision at 20 inches or less.

49. Never

An RFC rating that means not even once during an eight-hour day.

50. Noise level

A rating in the SCO that is based on the following coding system:

Code

Level

Illustrative Examples

1

Very quiet

Isolation booth for hearing test

2

Quiet

Library, many private offices

3

Moderate

Department or grocery store

4

Loud

Large earth movers, heavy traffic

5

Very loud

Rock concert, jack hammer

51. No work experience

No relevant work experience. See DI 25001.001B.60. for the definition of relevant work experience.

52. Nonexertional limitation

An impairment-caused limitation on a work activity that is not one of the seven strength factors (i.e. lifting, carrying, standing, walking, sitting, pushing, and pulling).

53. Not present

Use of this rating in the SCO means that the activity or condition does not exist.

54. Occasionally

Use of this term in the SCO or RFC means that the activity occurs at least once up to one-third of an eight-hour workday.

55. Occupation

  • A group of jobs in many different worksites with a common set of tasks.

  • Each occupation contains numerous related jobs.

  • The DOT and SCO list occupations, not jobs.

56. Occupational base

The number of unskilled occupations that a claimant is capable of performing.

If an individual has transferable skills or direct entry into skilled work, he or she may have some skilled and semi-skilled occupations in his or her occupational base.

57. Occupational code number

  • The first three digits of a code number identify the occupational group.

  • The first digit is one of 9 broad categories.

  • Categories are divided into 83 more specific divisions (the first 2 digits).

  • The divisions are then divided into small groups (the first 3 digits). The DOT contains 564 groups.

  • The middle 3 digits of the occupational code address the worker functions. See DI 25001.001B.16. for a list of the middle 3 digit designations .

  • The last 3 digits differentiate a particular occupation from all others. When a 6-digit code is [close space]

    applicable to only one occupation, the final 3 digits are always 010.

  • When there is more than one occupation with the same first 6 digits, the final 3 are usually assigned in multiples of 4, such as 010.014.018 and 022.

58. Other environmental conditions (Ot)

An environmental factor rating in the SCO used to capture uncategorized environmental conditions. May include:

  • Demolishing parts of buildings to reach and combat fires and rescue persons endangered by fire and smoke;

  • Mining ore or coal underground;

  • Patrolling assigned beat to prevent crime or disturbance of peace and being subjected to bodily injury or death from law violators;

  • Diving in the ocean and being subjected to the bends or other conditions associated with high water pressure and oxygen deprivation;

  • Patrolling ski slopes prior to allowing public use and being exposed to danger of avalanches.

59. Other work

Work other than a claimant’s past relevant work.

60. Past relevant work (PRW)

Work that:

  • was performed within the relevant work period (See DI 25001.001B.65. for the relevant work period chart), and

  • was substantial gainful activity (SGA), and

  • lasted long enough for the person to learn to learn the techniques; acquire the necessary information; and, develop the facilities needed for average performance of the job situation.

See DI 25005.015 for additional information on PRW.

61. Pulling

Exerting force upon an object so that the object moves toward the force.

62. Pushing

Exerting force upon an object so that the object moves away from the force.

63. Range of work

Occupations existing at an exertional level (i.e. sedentary, light, medium, heavy, and very heavy).

64. Reaching

Extending the hands and arms in any direction.

65. Relevant work period

The period for which a claimant’s past work can be considered past relevant work (PRW).

The table below provides the most common scenarios of the relevant work period; i.e.,

TYPE OF CLAIM

RELEVANT PERIOD

Title II Disability Insurance Benefits (DIB) - Date Last Insured (DLI) in the future

Within the 15 years before adjudication*

Title II DIB - DLI in the past

Within the 15 years before DLI

Title II Widow or Widower, or Surviving Divorced Spouse (DWB) Prescribed Period (PP) not expired

Within the 15 years before adjudication *

Title II DWB – PP expired

Within the 15 years before expiration of the PP

Title II or Title XVI Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) projected to a future date.

Within the 15 years before the projected date is reached

Title II Full Retirement Age (FRA) in the past

Within the 15 years before FRA

Title II Childhood Disability Beneficiaries (CDB) – Initial claim filed before age 22

Within the 15 years before adjudication*

Title II CDB – Initial claim filed after age 22, no relevant work after age 22

Within the 15 years before age 22

Title II CDB – Reentitlement Claim, 7 year period applies and ended in the past

Within the 15 years before the end of the reentitlement period

Title II CDB – Reentitlement Claim, 7 year period applies and has not yet ended, or 7 year period does not apply

Within the 15 years before adjudication*

Title XVI Adult

Within the 15 years before adjudication*

Title II or Title XVI Continuing Disability Review (CDR)

Within the 15 years before CDR adjudication**

Appeal of Title II or Title XVI CDR medical cessation

Within the 15 years prior to the initial CDR medical cessation determination**

Any type of claim – closed period of disability ***

Within the 15 years before the end of the closed period

* Indicates the date we adjudicate the claim at the initial, reconsideration, administrative law judge levels or for Appeals Council decisions. (See 20 CFR 404.1565 and 416.965 ) The date of adjudication is not frozen at the initial determination but is the date of determination or decision at any level of review.

** DI 28005.015B.7. provides that in CDR cases we will not count work performed during the current period of disability as PRW or as work experience. However, SGA done during a current period of disability may change an individual’s vocational outlook for the purposes of applying collateral estoppel to a new claim. See EM-01204 and DI 27515.001 for additional information on potential adoption cases involving work activity.

*** A closed period of disability is one in which the claimant was unable to engage in substantial gainful activity for a continuous period of at least 12 months, but by the time the determination or decision is made, improvement has occurred and the claimant is no longer disabled.

66. Remaining occupational base

The occupations that a claimant is capable of adjusting to considering his or her RFC, age, education, and past work experience.

67. Residual functional capacity (RFC)

An administrative assessment of a claimant’s maximum remaining capacity for work on a sustained basis.

68. Restriction

A restriction is what a claimant should not do because of an impairment-related risk to self or others or because it would be medically inadvisable. A restriction can be exertional or non-exertional.

69. Sedentary work

  • See DI 25001.001B.21. for lifting and carrying requirements.

  • Periods of standing or walking should generally total no more than about two hours and sitting should generally total approximately six hours of an eight-hour workday.

70. Semi-skilled work

Work that requires some skills but does not require complex duties.

  • Generally Specific Vocational Preparation (SVP) of 3 or 4 as rated in the SCO.

  • See DI 25001.001B.78. for the definition of SVP.

71. Severe medically determinable impairment (MDI)

An MDI that significantly limits a claimant’s physical or mental ability to perform one or more basic work activities needed to do most jobs. See DI 22001.015.

72. Significant erosion

A considerable reduction in the available occupations at a particular exertional level.

Generally, use a lower exertional rule as a framework for a decision.

73. Sitting:

Remaining in a seated position.

74. Skill

For disability program purposes is:

  • Experience and demonstrated proficiency with work activities in particular tasks or jobs.

  • Can only be gained through doing past relevant skilled or semi-skilled work. Cannot be gained from unskilled work.

  • Cannot be gained through volunteer work or hobbies.

  • Cannot be gained through education.

75. Skill level

A work classification that divides occupations into unskilled, semi-skilled, or skilled work.

76. Skilled work

  • Requires high levels of judgment and adaptability.

  • Involves setting realistic goals or making plans independently.

  • Requires understanding, carrying out, remembering complex instructions.

  • Often encompasses abstract ideas and problem solving.

  • Generally SVP of 5-9 as rated in the SCO.

  • See DI 25001.001B.78. for the definition of SVP.

77. Slight erosion

A minimal impact in the available occupations at an exertional level.

Do not use a lower level exertional rule as a framework for a decision.

78. Special medical-vocational profiles

Unfavorable combinations of vocational factors that should be considered before consulting the medical vocational rules.

  • Find an individual who cannot do past relevant work and meets a profile unable to adjust to other work.

  • See DI 25010.001 for a listing of the profiles.

79. Specific vocational preparation (SVP)

The amount of time required by a typical worker to:

  • Learn the techniques,

  • Acquire the information, and

  • Develop the facility needed for average performance of a job.

An individual may acquire SVP in a school, military, institutional or vocational environment through such settings as:

  • Vocational training,

  • Apprenticeship training,

  • In plant training,

  • On-the-job training,

  • Essential experience in other jobs.

A 4-year college degree is equal to 2 years of SVP. Each year of graduate school is equal to 1 year of SVP.

If an individual has past work with a high SVP level, it may be appropriate to consider the length of the work, as well as the claimant’s education when determining if work was done long enough to be relevant.

EXAMPLE: An RN has an SVP of 7 which would mean that this job is generally learned in about 2-4 years. If the nurse has a 4 year college degree, which counts for 2 years of SVP, and 2 years of nursing experience, the adjudicator would determine that the claimant did the job long enough to learn it unless there was evidence to the contrary.

Level

Time

1

Short demonstration only.

2

Anything beyond short demonstration up to and including 1 month.

3

Over 1 month up to and including 3 months.

4

Over 3 months up to and including 6 months.

5

Over 6 months up to and including 1 year.

6

Over 1 year up to and including 2 years.

7

Over 2 years up to and including 4 years.

8

Over 4 years up to and including 10 years.

9

Over 10 years.

80. Standing

Remaining on one’s feet in an upright position at a workstation without moving about.

81. Stooping (St)

Bending the body downward and forward by bending the spine at the waist.

82. Strength factors of work

  • Lifting, carrying, standing, walking, sitting, pushing, and pulling.

  • This factor is defined by one of five levels: Sedentary, Light, Medium, Heavy, and Very Heavy. Most jobs require workers to expend energy to some extent. The amount can be affected by the worker’s body position and the frequency of the repetition of the task.

  • A worker in an awkward crouching position may experience as much difficulty exerting five pounds of force as when exerting thirty pounds at waist height while standing.

  • A worker who continuously lifts, pushes or pulls 15-pound objects or carries them over long distances may exert as much physical effort as when lifting, pushing, pulling or carrying 30-pound objects over short distances on a frequent basis.

  • In determining strength level, job analysts review body position, weight/force, and controls (hand/arm and foot/leg).

83. Substantially all activities

Nearly all of the activities required in an exertional range of work.

84. Substantial gainful activity (SGA)

The performance of significant physical or mental activities in work for pay or profit or in work of a type generally performed for pay or profit. Work may be substantial even if it is performed on a seasonal or part-time basis, or even if the individual does less, is paid less, or has less responsibility than in previous work.

  • Although the Field Office has jurisdiction to determine if work since onset is SGA, the adjudicator must determine whether past work was at SGA level in order to determine if it was relevant.

  • If the claimant has not worked for a full year at a job, it is not appropriate to apply the yearly SGA limit to his or her earnings.

  • See DI 10501.015 for SGA for blind employees. See the table below for countable earnings for nonblind employees.

Monthly SGA CHART for Nonblind Employees – “Countable earnings” of employees indicate SGA if the amount averages more per month than indicated below.

For mos./Yrs.

1

Mo.

2

Mos.

3

Mos.

4

Mos.

5

Mos.

6

Mos.

7

Mos.

8

Mos.

9

Mos.

10

Mos.

11

Mos.

12

Mos.

1979

$280

$560

$840

$1120

$1400

$1680

$1960

$2240

$2520

$2800

$3080

$3360

1980-1989

$300

$600

$900

$1200

$1500

$1800

$2100

$2400

$2700

$3000

$3300

$3600

1/90-6/99

$500

$1000

$1500

$2000

$2500

$3000

$3500

$4000

$4500

$5000

$5500

$6000

7/99-12/00

$700

$1400

$2100

$2800

$3500

$4200

$4900

$5600

$6300

$7000

$7700

$8400

2001

$740

$1480

$2220

$2960

$3700

$4440

$5180

$5920

$6660

$7400

$8140

$8880

2002

$780

$1560

$2340

$3120

$3900

$4680

$5460

$6240

$7020

$7800

$8580

$9360

2003

$800

$1600

$2400

$3200

$4000

$4800

$5600

$6400

$7200

$8000

$8800

$9600

2004

$810

$1620

$2430

$3240

$4050

$4860

$5670

$6480

$7290

$8100

$8910

$9720

2005

$830

$1660

$2490

$3320

$4150

$4980

$5810

$6640

$7470

$8300

$9130

$9960

2006

$860

$1720

$2580

$3440

$4300

$5160

$6020

$6880

$7740

$8600

$9460

$10,320

2007

$900

$1800

$2700

$3600

$4500

$5400

$6300

$7200

$8100

$9000

$9900

$10,800

2008

$940

$1880

$2820

$3760

$4700

$5640

$6580

$7520

$8460

$9400

$10,340

$11,280

2009

$980

$1960

$2940

$3920

$4900

$5880

$6860

$7840

$8820

$9800

$10,780

$11,760

2010

$1000

$2000

$3000

$4000

$5000

$6000

$7000

$8000

$9000

$10,000

$11,000

$12,000

2011

$1000

$2000

$3000

$4000

$5000

$6000

$7000

$8000

$9000

$10,000

$11,000

$12,000

2012

$1010

$2020

$3030

$4040

$5050

$6060

$7070

$8080

$9090

$10,100

$11,110

$12,120

2013

$1040

$2080

$3120

$4160

$5200

$6240

$7280

$8320

$9360

$10,400

$11,440

$12,480

2014

$1070

$2140

$3210

$4280

$5350

$6420

$7490

$8560

$9630

$10,700

$11,770

$12,840

85. Training

An instructional program designed to prepare a person (or further enhance his or her ability) for performing a specific type or field of work.

86. Transferability

Applying work skills that a claimant has demonstrated in past relevant skilled or semi-skilled work to meet the requirements of other skilled or semi-skilled work. See DI 25015.015 for a detailed discussion.

87. Transferable skills

Skills obtained from performing past relevant skilled or semi-skilled work that can be applied to meet the requirements of other skilled or semiskilled work that falls within the claimant’s RFC.

88. Unskilled work

Work that requires little or no judgment to do simple duties that can be learned on the job in a short period of time (i.e., 30 days or less).

  • Generally SVP of 1 or 2 as rated in the SCO.

  • See DI 25001.001B.78. for the definition of SVP.

89. Very heavy work

  • See DI 25001.001B.21. for lifting and carrying requirements.

  • Walking or standing for a significant amount of the day.

  • Generally includes the functional capacity to perform heavy, medium, light, and sedentary work.

90. Vibration (Vi)

An environmental factor rated in the SCO meaning exposure to a shaking object or surface.

91. Vocational specialist/consultant (VS/VC)

A person who specializes in consideration of vocational factors and who has knowledge of how those factors apply to a specific medical-vocational determination.

92. Vocational factors

RFC, age, education, and PRW.

93. Walking

Moving about on foot.

94. Wet or Humid (Hu)

An environmental factor rated in the SCO meaning contact with water or other liquids or exposure to nonweather-related humid conditions.

95. Work experience

The experience acquired from a claimant’s PRW.

96. Working in high, exposed places (HE)

An environmental factor rated in the SCO meaning exposure to possible bodily injury from falling.

97. Working with explosives (Ex)

An environmental factor rated in the SCO meaning possible injury from explosives.


To Link to this section - Use this URL:
http://policy.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0425001001
DI 25001.001 - Medical-Vocational Quick Reference Guide - 01/17/2014
Batch run: 01/17/2014
Rev:01/17/2014