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Cooking in a commercial kitchen is a demanding job. You are constantly on your feet, using your hands frequently, and lifting and carrying stuff around the kitchen. The Dictionary of Occupational Titles characterizes the job of “Cook” as a Medium exertional, skilled job. That means that if the person seeking benefits is no longer able to work as a cook and is limited to Light exertional work, disability should be awarded if the claimant is over the age of 55. Unless there are transferable skills.

I have had two claims recently with clients over the age of 55 whose past relevant work involved work as a cook. In both cases – before I was hired – the claims were denied upon initial review to claimants limited to Light work, based upon a finding of transferable skills (by the way, always review the Disability Determination Explanation to see exactly why the claim was denied)

DDS determined that the acquired job skills of a Cook could transfer to :

319.677-010 Caterer Helper SVP 3 Light
319.484-010 Food Assembler, Kitchen SVP 3 Light
313.374-014 Cook, Short Order SVP 3 Light
317.684-014 Pantry goods maker  SVP 4 Light

This is why I write about transferable skills! Here are 2 claims that would have been granted at Step 5 of the sequential evaluation via Medical-Vocational Guidline 202.06, but were denied under Medical-Vocational Guideline 202.07 due to the presence of transferable skills.

Of course, the skills have to transfer to jobs that are within a claimant’s RFC.

To prevail on these claims, I either have to establish that these claimants are limited to Sedentary work or otherwise unable physically to perform these jobs  (and therefore these jobs are not within the claimant’s physical RFC). Or alternatively, that the skills do not transfer due to a mental limitation to simple, not detailed tasks (and therefore these jobs are not within the claimant’s mental RFC).