Education and Social Security Disability

Social Security Disability and education

The Social Security Administration (SSA) does consider a persons education when making a decision about a disability case. Like most things with Social Security Disability (SSD) there are several different categories a claimant can fall into and each category affects a persons chances of receiving SSD differently.

Education Categories:

1. Being Illiterate: A person who is illiterate is unable to read or write. If a person is unable to write simple messages such as inventory lists or instructions, SSA considers them illiterate. Typically, a person who is illiterate has had very little formal schooling.

2. Marginal Education: Education at a 6th grade level or less is considered marginal by the SSA. Marginal education means a person has arithmetic, language and reasoning skills needed to do unskilled , simple types of jobs.

3. Limited Education: A person who has been formally educated from the 7th-11th grades is generally considered to have a limited education by the SSA. A person with a limited education usually does not have the educational qualifications to do most of the more difficult job duties needed in semi-skilled or skilled jobs.

4. High School Education (including a General Equivalency Diploma or GED) and Beyond:  A person with a high school education and above is generally considered to have the arithmetic, language and reasoning skills needed to do semi-skilled through skilled work.

Unless there is evidence to contradict a person’s declaration of the numerical grade level completed in school, this will be used to decide the person’s educational abilities. However, a person’s level of reasoning, mathematical ability, and communication may be higher or lower than their formal education. Proof of this may include acquired skills, hobbies, testing results, responsibilities the person had while working and daily activities. Therefore, a person will meet the criteria for education categories based on all evidence relevant to evaluating said person’s educational capacities.

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