Social Security Disability and Dictionary of Occupational Titles

As discussed previously, Social Security Disability and SSI claims involve consideration of vocational factors. One of the main resources for vocational information for the Social Security Administration is the Dictionary of Occupational Titles or the DOT. The Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT) was developed in response to the demand of an expanding public employment service for standardized occupational information to support job placement activities. The U.S. Employment Service recognized this need in the mid-1930’s, utilizing analysts located in numerous field offices throughout the country, to collect the information required.

Highly trained occupational analysts went out and collect reliable data which was provided to job interviewers so they could systematically compare and match the specifications of employer job openings with the qualifications of applicants who were seeking jobs through its facilities.

The first edition of the DOT was published in 1939. The first edition contained approximately 17,500 concise definitions presented alphabetically, by title, with a coding arrangement for occupational classification. Blocks of jobs were assigned 5- or 6-digit codes which placed them in one of 550 occupational groups and indicated whether the jobs were skilled, semi-skilled, or unskilled.

The second edition DOT, issued in March 1949, combined material in the first edition with several supplements issued throughout the World War II period. The second economy including new occupations in the plastics, paper and pulp, and radio manufacturing industries.

The third edition DOT, issued in 1965, eliminated the previous designation of a portion of the occupations as ”skilled, semi-skilled, or unskilled” and substituted a classification system based on the nature of the work performed and the demands of such work activities upon the workers. These new indicators of work requirements included eight separate classification components: training time, aptitudes, interests, temperaments, physical demands, working conditions, work performed, and industry.

The fourth edition of the DOT published in 1977, contained over 2,100 new occupational definitions and several thousand other definitions were substantially modified or combined with related definitions. In order to document these changes, approximately 75,000 on-site job analysis studies were conducted from 1965 to the mid-1970’s. These studies, supplemented by information obtained through extensive contacts with professional and trade associations, reflected the restructuring of the economy at that time.

Two supplements to the DOT have been released since the publication of the 1977 fourth edition DOT, one in 1982 and one in 1986. The 1982 supplement contained titles, codes, and definitions derived from Occupational Code Requests. The 1986 supplement continued this effort to publish new definitions as well as modify existing definitions consistent with new data collected. The 1986 supplement contained 840 occupational definitions; of these, 761 were not defined in the fourth edition.

If you need more information about a Social Security Disability/SSI, personal injury, EEOICPA, long or short-term disability, VA disability, Railroad Retirement Board disability, or a workers compensation matter, please contact the Law Offices of Tony Farmer and John Dreiser for a free case evaluation. We can be reached at (865) 584-1211 or (800) 806-4611 or through our website. Our office handles claims throughout Tennessee.




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