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Medical vocational allowances for SSD and SSI

When people develop disabilities, their conditions may limit their ability to maintain gainful employment. Thankfully, there are programs that provide assistance to help these people to continue to live productive lives.

For those seeking such benefits, it may be helpful to understand what they entail. Medical vocational allowances are key in many Social Security disability and Supplemental Security Income claims.


In short, the medical vocational allowance is an award to people who are not able to perform any job they have held proficiency in over the course of 15 years. It is a means for people to receive disability benefits in lieu of qualifying by meeting the severe criteria as it states in the SSA's "blue book." Therefore, the claim examiner reviewing the claims compares the claimants' level of ability with all of the jobs they held over the course of the last 15 years, and if they are not able to fulfill any of them, they may qualify for the medical vocational allowance.


The Social Security Administration details the guidelines and requirements to qualify for a medical vocational designation. Generally, to qualify for a medical vocational allowance, a party must not be able to return to a past job, nor be able to transfer his or her skills, experience or education to a new profession. Other factors, such as age and ability to learn new skills, may also contribute to the decision.

Support for a claim

Proper documentation is critical for a claim. Along with providing medical records to support the actual claim of disability, claimants should provide detailed descriptions of current and past work for the last 15 years. This information can aid the claim examiner in properly evaluating the skills and exertion level that the job requires, which can help in determining whether a person may return to a job.

This is a brief overview of the medical vocational allowance. Those who are filing for SSD or SSI should consider speaking with a knowledgeable attorney to determine their best options for making a successful claim.

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