Many people that seek social security disability wonder how Social Security figures out what jobs might be available.  About a month ago it was announced that there is a new committee to review the DOT (Dictionary of Occupational Titles). The Social Security Administration uses the DOT as its main source for purposes of determination of required skillset and job descriptions across the U.S. economy for whether someone meets the requirements for Social Security Disbility. The problem is that the DOT has not been updated since 1991. It may surprise some that Social Security heavily relies on such a source when it has not been updated in almost 20 years, and makes it difficult to those that apply and appeal Social Security disability decisions.

The problem is that the U.S. Department of Labor relies on the ONET and will not update the DOT since the ONET serves their purposes, but not Social Security’s. A new panel has been formed called the OIDAP, the Occupational Information Development Advisory Panel, and will presumably update the DOT. Many who work with disability applicants are exploring new ways to update the DOT that may go beyond simply deleting old jobs that don’t exist now and adding the new ones that now exist. Different ideas are being floated that include putting the mental demands of jobs, cognitive skills needed, and adding different criteria for consideration in terms of job transferability. The process of putting together a new and updated DOT will no doubt take time, but some key recommendations should be ready by the end of September.