You are here

Dictionary of Occupational Titles

For those experiencing daily difficulty because of their severe disorder, Social Security disability benefits can be a huge help. However, for those applying, certain medical and legal terms may be difficult to understand. We will explain an important one here: the Dictionary of Occupational Titles, or DOT.

What Is The Dictionary of Occupational Titles?

When a person applies for disability benefits, they are stating that their severe disability prevents them from working and supporting themselves. This means that all applicants must provide proof of their condition, of their previous work experience, and of their inability to continue this work. This involves knowing what tasks an occupation does or does not require — and that is where the DOT comes in.

The DOT was created as a national standardized job database to help document the physical requirements of a job. When an applicant’s case is reviewed by Social Security, the reviewer will compare their condition to the DOT entries of their current and previous jobs to see if they are qualified for work.

Unfortunately, the DOT (which hasn’t been updated since the late 1990’s) does not address certain taxing aspects of most forms of work, such as mental and emotional strain. Social Security is currently working on a replacement for this system, called the Occupational Information System (OIS), which is scheduled to be implemented some time in 2019.

How an Attorney Can Help

Disability attorneys are more well-versed in disability cases than any other resource. They can help you to compare your condition with your work experience, document these findings on your application, and build the best case possible to show that your disability prevents you from working. Better yet, disability attorneys are not allowed to take payment unless they win your case, meaning you could be a free consultation away from building your highest-quality disability case.