The Social Security Administration (SSA) and its disability program have been under attack on many fronts in the last few years. The program is underfunded. Congress has expanded the qualifying medical conditions and broadened the eligibility for the program, but failed to provide the extra sources of funding for the program.
As a result, the trust fund that supports Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) is practically exhausted and benefits could be cut if Congress fails to act. The program has also been accused of being too generous with its interpretations of what qualifies for disability benefits.
In reaction to some of these problems, the SSA is updating various aspect of how SSDI is administered. One important change for many applicants is revision being made to the “dictionary” of job listings.
To speed processing of applications for benefits, the SSA uses a reference document that identifies potential jobs and their qualifications.
Because the disability determination requires that the SSA look to see if your training or education would allow you to find other employment, it is important for the job listings to accurately reflect the job market as it exists today.
The listing has not been updated for 23 years, and includes jobs like “blacksmith” but does not cover many new tech related jobs that exist. This may mean that some people who would qualify as disabled under the old listing may no longer qualify when the list is revised.
We won’t know the full extent of the changes for a few years, as the listing contains 10,000 jobs that will need to be reviewed.