Occupational Base

A occupational base is the set of occupations that the Social Security Administration deems an individual is capable of performing. The Residual Functional Capacity of a Social Security Disability application establishes the applicant’s vocational base.

There are numerous occupations that may constitute an applicant’s occupational basis. These are typically low-skilled jobs. There are roughly 2,500 medium, light, and sedentary occupations that can contribute to an applicant’s occupational foundation for Social Security Disability benefits, as well as approximately 1,600 light, light, and sedentary occupations and 200 sedentary occupations. The more of these occupations a Social Security Disability applicant can perform, the less likely he or she is to qualify for Social Security Disability payments. However, as the applicant’s occupational foundation erodes due to the loss of capacity to do the jobs that define the base, the applicant’s chances of receiving Social Security Disability payments grow.

When an individual applies for Social Security Disability benefits, his or her limitations are compared to the skills required for the available occupational basis positions and the responsibilities associated with those employment. If the constraints preclude an application from working in one of these occupational base positions, the applicant’s occupational base is reduced. If the Social Security Administration judges that the applicant’s vocational background, together with his or her age, education, and work history, makes it difficult for the individual to retain gainful employment, the application will be accepted for Social Security Disability benefits.