SSA Promulgates POMS on Tansferable Skills

Empire Justice December 22, 2014

Does your client have skills that could be transferrable to another skilled or semi-skilled job?  Does s/he really have skills, or are they merely traits?  Yet another one of those squirrely areas that we may have to confront in hearings with vocational experts.  New  POMS Section DI 25015.017 provides a wealth of information about the Transferability of Skills Assessment (TSA).

The new POMS is broken down into five subsections that describe definitions and considerations relevant to the TSA (A); when a TSA is material (B); supplemental information to assist in the TSA (C); the steps in the TSA (D); and additional tips to assist in the TSA (E).

Advocates facing TSAs should be familiar with all these subsections, but of particular note is Subsection E’s list of common jobs with skills highly likely to transfer to other light work:

  • Auto repair
  • Cooking
  • Electrician
  • Heavy equipment operator
  • Inspecting
  • Law enforcement
  • Machining
  • Maintenance mechanic
  • Master carpenter
  • Nursing
  • Plumbing
  • Sales

Common jobs with skills highly likely to transfer to other sedentary or light work?  Assembly, clerical, and supervisor.  But common jobs with skills that generally do not transfer to other work?  Nurse’s aide, specialized truck driving (basic driving ability is not a skill), and unusual or isolated vocational settings (like jobs in mining, agriculture, or fishing).