The DOT is THE current source for SSA VEs when performing impartial testimony….but does it provide Job Numbers>>>NO!
Last week we introduced the Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT) as THE source of information for the SSAVE. The Social Security Administration still considers the DOT as the primary source for you to go to…but as part of your testimony not only do you need to be able to understand what that occupation is and what it consists of – you also have to provide job numbers across the national economy. Unfortunately, the DOT does not provide this data for you.
The DOT is primarily concerned with data, people, and things…which really only covers what that occupation is, what is required to perform that occupation, and then characteristics of the vocation as a whole.
To take that information and push it into actual job numbers that are available across the national economy, you need outside resources. One method is to do a O-Net crosswalk and then get to the bottom of the actual occupation itself through pulling census data. another method is to go into the Occupational Outlook Handbook or into the Occupational Requirement Survey to see what national numbers exist.
One tried and true method recognized by the SSA as a viable option is to use software such as that provided by SkillTRAN in Job Browser PRO or OccuBrowse. This software gives the SSAVE the ability to not only put in the occupation or subset of that occupational specialty, but actually pull the characteristics that directly correlate with SSA requirements. These requirements include items such as vocational factors and residual functional capacity but can also include national or geographical area employment numbers…or even state employment numbers if you’re looking at something like Puerto Rico specifically (with its own unique requirements). At the end of the day, the key item in today’s scenario is to understand that while the DOT provides information about occupations, it is not the source for overall numbers for those occupational specialties across the United States. The Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics is the primary source of labor market data
So, yet another step or another piece of the pie in becoming a true SSAVE is understanding that the DOT is only one information source…and not that of an employment data repository. Employment numbers become another aspect demanding your ability to research and provide viable employment data estimations when responding to hypotheticals. So where will you find your numbers?
We will have future articles and videos on this and the how to or if you’re ready now you can get into the VELaunchpad! Get everything we’re covering in the weeks ahead now! Earn pre-approved CEU credit along the way!
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