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Specific Vocational Preparation Ratings

Social Security Lawyers for Chicago Area Residents

Your Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) claim can be denied if the Social Security Administration (SSA) determines that you could use the skills you learned on the job that your disability now prevents you from doing to perform a job that is less strenuous. In other words, even though you can’t perform your previous job, the SSA may look at your history of work, and see that there are other kinds of jobs that are feasible for you. You may hear the term “specific vocational preparation” in connection with the denial of an SSDI claim. If you are concerned about specific vocational preparation ratings in relation to SSDI benefits, our dedicated Chicago Social Security attorneys can answer your questions.

Specific Vocational Preparation Ratings

Specific vocational preparation refers to how much time you need to prepare for a particular type of job. This calculation is used for comparing jobs you’ve performed previously to those jobs that are available in the economy. Sometimes workers have had vocational preparation of different kinds on prior jobs, and the SSA may decide you could do lighter work using the skills you learned while working at those other jobs. The SSA refers to specific vocational preparation as SVP.

If you’re applying for SSDI benefits, you will need to show that you are disabled such that you can’t perform any work that is available, and that you also can’t reasonably be trained to do any such work. If the SSA finds that you possess a skillset that could be necessary for a less strenuous job than the one you just had, you may be disqualified for SSDI benefits in spite of having a health condition.

To determine your particular vocational preparation level, the SSA will characterize the work you’ve previously done as either skilled, semiskilled, or unskilled. Skilled work requires a large amount of specific vocational preparation. Semiskilled work requires some preparation, while unskilled work requires none or very little. If you were previously working at job that is considered skilled, and then you become disabled, you may find it hard to qualify for SSDI, since your training may be transferable to a different job. A diligent Social Security lawyer can review your work history and help you assess how the SSA may characterize your prior work.

How are Specific Vocational Preparation Ratings Assigned?

Your own description of your job duties will influence how the SSA decides the skill level of your prior work. You need to be accurate in your descriptions of your job responsibilities and the length of time it took you to learn how to do your job. This will affect your specific vocational preparation rating. The Department of Labor predetermines the number assigned to each job. The number won’t include whatever amount of time it took you to get used to your job, but rather how long the actual training was. Training in apprenticeships, the military, vocational schools, on-the-job training by another employee, organized in-plant training, and experience and skills acquired in other jobs will affect the SVP number.

The higher the SVP number, the more training was needed to learn the job or acquire skills for an average performance. There are 9 SVP levels. At the SVP 1 level, only a short demonstration is needed to learn the job. SVP 2 is assigned if anything beyond a short demonstration up to a month is needed to learn the job. SVP 3 is assigned if it takes 1 month to 2 months to learn the job. SVP 4 is assigned for jobs that take 3 to 6 months to learn. SVP 5 is assigned when it takes 6 months to a year to learn the job. SVP 6 is assigned if it takes 1 to 2 years to learn the job. SVP 7 is assigned if it takes 2 to 4 years to learn how to do the job. When a job takes more than 4 years and up to 10 years to learn, it is assigned SVP 8. SVP 9, the highest level, is assigned when it takes more than 10 years to learn how to do the job.

Knowledgeable SSDI Attorneys for Chicago Area Residents

Many legitimate SSDI claims are denied. If you are concerned about your SSDI claim or about your specific vocational preparation rating in Chicago, you can consult the seasoned Social Security lawyers of Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck and Bertuca. We represent claimants in Quincy, Aurora, Champaign, and Rockford, as well as throughout Kane, Sangamon, Adams, Winnebago, and Cook Counties. We can also look at your situation to figure out whether other relief is available in addition to SSDI. Contact us at 312-263-6330 or 800-444-1525 or via our online form.