Skip to Main Content

Printer Friendly

Vocational Issues

A claimant’s past relevant work is taken consideration at Step Four of SSA’s Sequential Evaluation, while at Step Five, it is SSA’s burden to prove that there are other jobs that the claimant could perform.  This section deals with these types of vocational issues.

SSA often attempts to meet it burden at Step Five either by relying on its Medical-Vocational Guidelines  (, or by relying on testimony from a vocational expert (VE).  Read more.

SSA and vocational experts (VEs) continues to use the Dictionary of Occupational Titles when deciding vocational issues, which has not been updated in many.   SSA, however, is currently considering creating its own occupational guide.



What Are the Professional Qualifications of Vocational Sources?
Many of us have wondered what it takes to become a vocational witness for the Social Security Administration (SSA). Read More

Searching for VE Tips?
Cross-examining a vocational expert (VE) is one of the most challenging parts of our work. Administrative Law Judges (ALJs) always seem to be learning new tricks. Read More

Are There Really Addresser Jobs Out There?
In the pantheon of infamous jobs cited by vocational experts (VEs) in response to hypothetical questions posed by Administrative Law Judges at hearings, “addresser” ranks high. In fact, a study by the Social Security Administration (SSA) found addresser (DOT #209.587-010) was cited in 9.5% of Step five denials. Read More

Court Remands for Further Vocational Evidence
U.S. District Court Judge Victor Marrero recently remanded a claim for vocational evidence, ordering the Commissioner to more fully develop the record regarding jobs that claimant might be able to perform despite her non-exertional impairments. Read More


January 2017 Disability Law News
The Disability Law News is a quarterly newsletter published for DAP Advocates. This issue will detail and discuss the many recent changes to the treating physician regulations. SSA's new Mental Impairments Listings which recent went into effect on January 17, 2017 is highlighted in Regulations. Court Decisions looks at a recent Second Circuit decision on a duration issue in Cutter v. Colvin. Read More

Disability Law News - October 2016
The Disability Law News is a quarterly newsletter published for DAP Advocates. This issue will take an in-depth look at the new mental impairment listings and newly proposed treating physician regulations. Court Decisions will look at a decision in the 1st Circuit, Fischer v. Colvin criticizing SSA's onset policies. Read More


Thumbs Up or Down? Practical Reviews of the VE Mock Hearing
A panel of experienced Social Security attorneys discuss issues raised in the mock hearing, as well as other vocational issues, including the art of the hypothetical question, the validity of the numbers/testimony offered by the VE, and tips for cross-examining the VE. Read More

The Role of Vocational Issues in a Social Security Case
Two experienced Social Security attorneys discuss how vocational issues may affect the outcome of a Social Security disability case. Topics include significance of vocational evidence in the sequential evaluation process, new POMS and proposed regulations on past relevant work, questioning a vocational expert (VE), and overview of relevant case law. Read More