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There are certain mental abilities you must have in order to perform unskilled work. Unskilled work is the easiest form of work. For example, it is work that does not require much attention. It is also work that does not require you go to school or learn work skills. If you received a denial from the SSA, unskilled work is usually the kind of work the SSA will claim you can do.

If you were trying to figure out what an unskilled job is, an example might be the job of parking lot attendant.  This is a job that does not require you to go to school. At work, you sit or stand in a booth and take a ticket or give a ticket to the customer. Also, jobs like this typically do not even require you to give change to the customer. Even so, these jobs still require mental abilities that can be impaired by they symptoms of depression or security benefits form for Utah, Nevada, Callifornia, Idaho

SSA’s internal regulations define the critical factors involved in assessing an individual’s capacity to perform unskilled work. These factors are true wherever you work. You can be working in Utah, Nevada, California, or Idaho. The requirements are the same. The mental factors are outlined in POMS §DI 25020.010 B.3, which states:

Mental Abilities Critical for Performing Unskilled Work

The claimant must show the ability to:

a. remember work-like procedures (locations are not critical).

b. understand and remember very short and simple instructions.

c. carry out very short and simple instructions.

d. maintain attention for extended periods of 2-hour segments (concentration is not critical).

e. maintain regular attendance and be punctual within customary tolerances. (These tolerances are usually strict.) Maintaining a schedule is not critical.

f. sustain an ordinary routine without special supervision.

g. work in coordination with or proximity to others without being (unduly) distracted by them.

h. make simple work-related decisions.

i. complete a normal workday and workweek without interruptions from psychologically based symptoms and perform at a consistent pace without an unreasonable number and length of rest periods. (These requirements are usually strict.)

j. ask simple questions or request assistance.

k. accept instructions and respond appropriately to criticism from supervisors.

l. get along with coworkers or peers without (unduly) distracting them or exhibiting behavioral extremes.

m. respond appropriately to changes in a (routine) work setting.

n. be aware of normal hazards and take appropriate precautions.


As noted earlier, each one of these elements is necessary to perform unskilled work. If you cannot get along with coworkers, you cannot work at any job. Likewise, if you cannot complete an 8 hour work day without mental issues interfering with your day, you cannot work. One of the big issues on the job is distracting other employees. If you do this, you will definitely be let go from work. The same thing will happen if you cannot complete a normal work day due to mental illness. You will be fired. It is impossible to work if you cannot complete your shift. The boss can always hire someone else to fill your position if you don’t make it through an eight hour work day.

If your mental illness makes it impossible for your to do the above tasks, you have a disability. Therefore, you need to apply for disability benefits at ssa. gov.  It is important to hire a lawyer to help you file your application. Additionally, your lawyer can help you file an appeal if the SSA denies you benefits. Your future livelihood is at stake. You need monthly benefits to help you and your family pay the bills. This is an important decision. You need to choose a lawyer with experience. But, not just any legal experience. Choose a lawyer who specializes in disability law.


Cannon Disability has the experience you need. For example, our attorneys have won over 18,000 disability cases. Also, we have been practicing disability law for 30 years. We specialize in obtaining Social Security disability benefits for our clients. You do not want to hope that your lawyer knows what they are doing. Trust your future income to a law firm who does this every day.

If you need help with a Social Security Disability or SSI case in Utah, Nevada, California, or Idaho, you should contact Cannon Disability Law. We can help you win disability benefits. Additionally, we can help you appeal a denial of benefits from the SSA. Contact us today. We will examine your case for free.

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