The data available to the Social Security Administration Vocational Expert (SSAVE) for pre-hearing research is varied and dense. That same data availability during the time limits of a hearing dwindles appreciably. Just like the civil-military complex, companies strive to fill the void for rapidly presentable data to the Social Security Administration as well.
Companies such as SkillTRAN and Governmental agencies such as the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) are a couple of those. The software and/or searchable information give the SSAVE a means to apply hypothetical limitations to a previous work history…with differing results and time. Of course, like all software or methods of repeating a task, one becomes faster on repetition – but each present unique characteristics due to the software inputs/coding employed in construction.
Is this software OK to use? Some current and previous SSAVE purists say no. Reality is that the software produced by SkillTRAN and others is approved internal to the SSA, so why not use it to rapidly pull occupational information for the SSAVE?
The key questions is whether it meets the Daubert decision requirements of validity and reliability. SkillTRAN’s method of peer review and repeated testing shows evidence of this. No doubt the BLS numbers bear out the same.
Remember the ALJ requirements and the resultant issue – speed vs precision….but they have to pass the test….