The Social Security Administration’s Medical-Vocational Rules & Guidelines
When the Social Security Administration’s Medical-Vocational Rules Don’t Work
- Often, a claimant for Social Security Disability Benefits suffers from a severe impairment that is supported by medical evidence and analysis that is not normally be included within the Social Security Administration’s listing of qualifying conditions and other criteria.
- This person’s impairment may be sufficiently severe such that it prevents him or her from doing the type of work he or she has been performing for the last fifteen years. At this stage, the SSA analysis must focus on whether the person can do other work. This involves consideration of the person’s Residual Functional Capacity or RFC and the claimant’s age, education, and work experience.
What are the Vocational Factors and Residual Function Capacity?
- The Medical-Vocational Guidelines of the Social Security Administration address the way in which the claimant’s age, education, and work experience are utilized in the disability determination process. These factors are more commonly referred to as Vocational Factors.
- A portion of the Medical-Vocational Guidelines examines the interaction of the Vocational Factors (age, education, and work experience) with the claimant’s Residual Function Capacity.
- Residual Function Capacity or RFC is expressed by the Medical-Vocational Rules in terms of sedentary, light, and medium work exertion.
Helping Disabled Individuals Who Don’t Fit in a Set Category
- In this, the Medical-Vocational Rules or Guidelines provide an analysis of the number of jobs available in the national economy for varying levels of physical exertion required of different jobs. More simply stated, the Medical-Vocational Rules or Guidelines take into account the residual functional capacity of a claimant in light of the exertion requirements of nationally available vocations.
- The Medical-Vocational Rules or Guidelines do not directly determine if a claimant is officially disabled or not disabled. However, the Medical-Vocational Rules or Guidelines are part of the analysis for those individuals suffering from impairments that are not contained within the Social Security Administration’s established list of disabling impairments.