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Disability Regulations under ADA and DOT

  • Published: August 24, 2012

With its many criteria and guidelines, Social Security disability cases can be confusing for claimants. To get a better understanding of how you can meet their requirements, consult with your Ocala disability attorney.

The Americans with Disabilities Act Has Different Requirements

A memorandum to staff and judges from the Associate Commissioner of the Social Security Administration emphasized the fact that ADA and the disability provisions of the Social Security Act have separate purposes and do not directly apply to each other. For instance, the ADA defines “disability” in terms of the capacity to do what it describes as “major life activities,” which is different from how “disability” is defined in the Social Security Act.

The Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT)

The Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT) contains short descriptions of 12,741 occupations. The DOT and Social Security regulations are closely linked, as the DOT provided the definitions of exertional and skill levels in the regulations, and the grids, the individual charts based on exertional levels in the Medical-Vocational Guidelines, are based on the amount of unskilled DOT occupational titles at each level of exertion. Vocational experts are supposed to be knowledgeable about the DOT.

But as your Ocala disability attorney might tell you, the SSA continues to rely on the DOT and other publications even though the DOT has been long out of date (it was last revised in 1991). The Department of Labor no longer revises the DOT and is replacing it with the O*Net, which contains almost no helpful information for disability determination using the current sequential evaluation process. Thus, SSA has informed decision-makers not to use the O*net when making disability decisions.

Additionally, a Social Security regulation states that if vocational expert testimony conflicts with the DOT, the ALJ must receive a plausible explanation and explain in his decision how this conflict was resolved.

For outstanding legal representation in your SS disability case, please contact the Law Offices of CJ Henry at (352) 304-5300 for a free initial consultation. CJ Henry is a nationally recognized Ocala disability attorney whose specializes in SS disability cases.

Claudeth Henry

Attorney Henry is a Florida disability lawyer uniquely suited to
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