What is a transferable skill and why is it important?

In order to be considered disabled, a Social Security disability applicant must be unable to engage in any substantial activity because of a physical or mental condition that is expected to last for at least 12 months or result in death. According to this definition of disability, it is not enough that you cannot do your current job. You must be unable to work in any job and meet the other requirements to receive Social Security disability.

The Social Security Administration Will Want to Know About Your Skills

In order to determine if you can do another job, the Social Security Administration (SSA) is going to examine your work skills. The agency may want to know if you have other skills that could transfer to other jobs. When considering the transferability of your skills, the SSA can only:

  • Consider your skills from past relevant work that is semi-skilled or skilled.
  • Transfer the skills to other semi-skilled or skilled work—not unskilled work.
  • Determine the transferability of skills after taking the specific steps described in the agency’s transferability of skills analysis.

A transferability of skills analysis is one of the last steps in a Social Security disability determination, and it need not be completed for every Social Security disability applicant. Instead, the analysis only has to be done if it could make a difference in the outcome for an individual applicant. Transferable skills should be a vocational advantage when looking for a new job.

It is important that you understand transferability of skills and other factors related to your Social Security disability application before you apply for benefits. To learn more, please start a live chat with us today.

Carl M. Weisbrod
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Managing Partner of Morgan & Weisbrod, Board Certified in Social Security Disability Law