Social Security denies disability benefits based on list with jobs from 1977

By Lisa Rein: For Complete Post, Click Here…

ngd- When I was doing social security hearings, I had a vocational expert offer work to my client that only exsted in southern Texas, and involved wrapping fishline around reels…

Despite spending at least $250 million to modernize its vocational system, the agency still relies on 45-year-old job titles to deny thousands of claims a year.

He had made it through four years of denials and appeals, and Robert Heard was finally before a Social Security judge who would decide whether he qualified for disability benefits. Two debilitating strokes had left the 47-year-old electrician with halting speech, an enlarged heart and violent tremors.

There was just one final step: A vocational expert hired by the Social Security Administration had to tell the judge if there was any work Heard could still do despite his condition. Heard was stunned as the expert canvassedhis computer and announced his findings: He could find work as a nut sorter, a dowel inspector or an egg processor —jobs that virtually no longer exist in the United States.

“Whatever it is that does those things, machines do it now,” said Heard, who lives on food stamps and a small stipend from his parents in a subsidized apartment in Tullahoma, Tenn. “Honestly, if they could see my shaking, they would see I couldn’t sort any nuts. I’d spill them all over the floor.”

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