Specific Vocational Preparation, which is usually referred to as SVP by the Social Security Administration, refers to the amount of time required to prepare for a specific type of job. Specific Vocational Preparation is used to compare the types of work you have done to other types of work which are available. Depending on what specific vocational preparation you have received on previous jobs, the SSA may determine that you are capable of performing lighter work which is available using the same general skill sets you have learned on other jobs.
When applying for disability, the burden is on you to demonstrate that you are completely disabled and unable to perform any kind of available work. By the definition of Social Security Disability, this means that you could not reasonably be trained to do any kind of work which is available anywhere in the country. If the SSA can show that you have the skills needed for less demanding jobs, you may be disqualified for Social Security Disability benefits.
In assessing your specific vocational preparation, the SSA will classify all work you have previously performed as unskilled (requiring little or no specific vocational preparation), semi-skilled (requiring some specific vocational preparation), or skilled (requiring a considerable amount of specific vocational preparation). Those who have previously performed skilled work often find it more difficult to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits because their training will quite often transfer to other available jobs which they may be able to perform.
If your Social Security Disability claim is denied because of your specific vocational preparation, you should consider having a Social Security attorney review your case. Not only can they give you solid recommendation regarding whether you should appeal your case, but they can help you prepare the appeals to best demonstrate that your specific vocational preparation does not make you capable of performing available work. Social Security attorneys almost always work on a contingency basis, meaning that their services are free until you are awarded benefits. Working with a qualified Social Security Disability lawyer can improve your chances of being awarded disability benefits.