What role does education play in you SSI or SSDI claim?
As we have mentioned before education is one of the factors used in the medical vocational guidelines. Your educational level is important, but it is not the most significant factor.
The only education that applies is any formal schooling, other formal training, or possibly education acquired from hobbies or daily activities. For the most part the social security administration (SSA) will take the highest grade completed in order to classify a SSDI or SSI claimant. However just because a claimant does not have very high formal schooling does not mean they have little to no education. Education can come in the form of past job training or abilities acquired from some other source. The social security administration (SSA) divides levels of education into four aspects for purposes of disability benefits.
"Illiteracy" is the inability to read or write. If a SSDI or SSI claimant cannot read or write a simple instruction or message that could be foreseen at a job, that person is illiterate.
"Marginal education" is an adequate ability for a SSDI or SSI claimant to reason, complete simple mathematics, and have certain language skills to do unskilled types of jobs. If a SSDI or SSI claimant has formal schooling no higher than 6th grade, they will generally be categorized as having a marginal education by the social security administration (SSA).
"Limited education" is the same skill level as marginal education, but not quite high enough to complete tasks required in a skilled or semiskilled job. The social security administration (SSA) will classify a SSDI or SSI claimant as having limited education if they have completed formal schooling higher than 6th grade and lower than 11th grade.
"High school education and higher", speaks for itself. A claimant in this category will be deemed to participate in skilled or semiskilled work.
While these are the recognized categories, there are certain exceptions. If a SSDI or SSI claimant falls into one of these categories they will not necessarily be judged by the requirements in that category. There are situations where a claimant, although finishing a certain grade level, has a lower capacity than what it says on paper. The social security administration (SSA) will entertain evidence when this situation arises. The best proof is some sort of standardized achievement test. This is the most common in claimants that have been removed from their formal schooling by large blocks of time.
As always if you have any questions regarding this post or any other, please consult your local social security field office or seek the advice of an experienced social security disability lawyer especially if you have been denied benefits for your SSDI or SSI claim in the past.