Today we’re going to get into something that’s near and dear to every Vocational Expert’s heart and that is the Handbook for Analyzing Jobs (HALJ).
Just like the other documents that we’ve introduced to you on Stroud Academy, this handbook is one of the core documents that a Social Security Administration Vocational Expert needs to at least be familiar with and understand because it does perform a underlying resource for what you do or will do on a day-to-day basis.
The HALJ really contains a lot of critical information slanted towards how to actually go through job analysis and perform said analysis on all of the different jobs available to claimants. These are the same claimants that you will be testifying with. This understanding and application to testimony really sets the first standard of what Social Security Administration Vocational Experts do.
The HALJ gets into the concepts and principles of job analysis such as limits, dimensions, machine tools, equipment and work heights and how each interacts and affects that job.
From there, the HALJ expands out into worker function This includes looking at the structure and procedures, and then what the actual definitions and examples of different worker functions are to you a beginning understanding of how the job breaks down. This information then fuses with the functions of the worker and how each integrates into different roles and responsibilities in the job.
The HALJ also gets into the work fields. What we’re talking about here is how some work fields exist alone, while some have different combination work fields. The HALJ then shows how an individual that’s performing job analysis can assign different work fields to different jobs. There is an alphabetical listing in the handbook as well as different work field organizations and then how they are combined with their own listing.
One key term that is introduced in the HALJ is MPSMS. This acronym stands for materials, products, subject matter, and services. At some future point when you are doing work history analysis of different claimants, you’re going to sometimes refer to the MPSMS to really understand different functions that the claimant could possibly do if you are looking at past relevant work. This applies commensurately with the hypothetical limitations that have been presented to you as to whether they could perform that work or other work in the national economy.
The HALJ then gets into general educational development and how that develops over time. Not only with education, but any other opportunities that are presented to them. Specific vocational preparation (SVP) is next and covers in detail the different levels of SVP that you will and should become quite familiar as an SSAVE. Following SVP is aptitudes. This topic includes the levels of aptitudes and then the definitions of those that are going to definitely play a part in the ability of the claimant to continue to perform past relevant work or other work in the national economy. Temperaments follows and is kind of the same issue.
So what we covered today was really just an introduction into the first half of the HALJ. Next week, we’ll continue with the second half of the Handbook for Analyzing Jobs. This should continue to give you good things to research and be able to target training for not only yourself or SSAVEs working for you now, but the ones that come on board in the future.