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Colorado Springs disability attorney Tomasz Stasiuk recently published an article entitled Criminal records, hire-ability, and Social Security disability. He writes:

The problem is that in disability cases, Social Security does not take hire-ability into consideration when deciding if an individual is disabled. In Social Security disability and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) cases, Social Security only looks at whether an individual is able to perform the duties of the job. Social Security does not consider whether an individual is actually likely to be hired for a job.

Tomasz is exactly right. The inability to get work, by itself, does not lead to a disability finding. Social Security’s regulations, specifically 20 CFR 404.1566(c), state:

Inability to obtain work. We will determine that you are not disabled if your residual functional capacity and vocational abilities make it possible for you to do work which exists in the national economy, but you remain unemployed because of—

(1) Your inability to get work;

(2) Lack of work in your local area;

(3) The hiring practices of employers;

(4) Technological changes in the industry in which you have worked;

(5) Cyclical economic conditions;

(6) No job openings for you;

(7) You would not actually be hired to do work you could otherwise do; or

(8) You do not wish to do a particular type of work. 

At step 5 of the sequential evaluation, Social Security will match your functional abilities against the requirements of of jobs in the national economy. For the purposes of a Social Security disability determination, it doesn’t matter if no employer would hire you.