TN 7 (01-20)

DI 22515.001 Overview of Vocational Evidence Development


Social Security Act – Sections
223(d), 1614(a), and 1631(e);
20 CFR §§

A. Purpose of vocational evidence

In title II and title XVI adult disability claims, we use vocational evidence at Steps 4 and 5 of the sequential evaluation process.

We use vocational evidence to determine:

  • The claimant’s ability to perform past relevant work (Step 4),

  • Whether the evidence is insufficient and expedited vocational assessment at Steps 4 and 5 of sequential evaluation applies (DI 25005.005),

  • Whether a special medical-vocational profile applies, and

  • The claimant’s ability to adjust to other work (Step 5).

B. Elements of vocational evidence

Vocational evidence is information about the claimant’s:

  • Work experience,

  • Age,

  • Education, and

  • Occupational training (if applicable).

C. Sources of vocational evidence

Evidence is anything the claimant or anyone else submits or that we obtain that is relevant to the individual's claim. For a more complete definition of evidence, see DI 22505.001.

Potential sources of vocational evidence include:

  • The claimant;

  • A prior filing;

  • The SSA-3367;

  • The SSA-3368;

  • The SSA-3369;

  • Medical and nonmedical sources; and

  • Queries.

1. The claimant

The claimant is the preferred source of information about his or her:

  • Work experience,

  • Age,

  • Level of education, and

  • Any specialized training.

a. Represented claimants

When contacting represented claimants, follow DI 31001.010B.

b. Special handling situations

When contacting claimants in special handling situations, follow DI 23007.005B. For claimants who require special handling, see DI 23007.001A.

2. A prior filing

Check prior filings for vocational evidence. Vocational evidence in prior filings may be sufficient for making a current determination.

3. The SSA-3367-F5 Disability Report – Field Office

The SSA-3367-F5 or EDCS 3367 may contain the following evidence pertinent to vocational development:

  • The date the claimant last performed SGA.

  • Work that may meet the requirements for an unsuccessful work attempt (UWA).

  • The date the claimant last met insured status for title II disability insurance benefit (DIB).

  • The end of the prescribed period for title II disabled widow or widower benefit (DWB).

  • The date the claimant attained age 22 title II childhood disability benefit (CDB).

  • The last day of the reentitlement period (CDB) if any of these dates are in the past.

4. The SSA-3368-BK Disability Report – Adult

The SSA-3368-BK contains the following vocational evidence:

  • Work activity

  • Education and training

  • Job history

5. The SSA-3369-BK Work History Report

Use the SSA-3369-BK to gather additional information about the claimant’s work when the information from prior filings and on the SSA-3368 is insufficient for a vocational assessment.

6. Medical and nonmedical sources

You may find information about work in medical evidence, consultative examination reports, special education records, and in information from other nonmedical sources.

7. Queries as a source of vocational evidence

The claimant is the best source of information about his or her past work. However, queries may help you resolve questions about past work when the claimant is having difficulty providing this evidence.

You are not required to use a Detail Earnings Query (DEQY), Summary Earnings Query (SEQY) or other query when developing vocational evidence.

For additional information on resolving insufficient vocational evidence using a Detail Earnings Query (DEQY) or a Summary Earnings Query (SEQY), see DI 22515.020B.

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DI 22515.001 - Overview of Vocational Evidence Development - 08/23/2017
Batch run: 01/13/2020