Social Security Disability Determination
I field numerous questions from potential claimants concerning how the Social Security Administration (SSA) determines a person’s disability. The following is a very brief outline illustrating the five steps untilized by SSA.
To determine if a person is disabled, the SSA uses a five-step “sequential evaluation:”Step 1. Is the applicant working?
Step 2. Is the condition “severe?” - that is, does it limit ability to do some basic work activity, physical or mental or both?
Step 3. Does the applicant “meet” or “equal” one of the impairments listed in the SSA disability law?
Step 4. Is the applicant able to return to past relevant work (work performed within the last 15 years)?
Step 5. Can the applicant perform any other work in the national economy, considering his/her age, education and past work?
While the determination process is riddled with untold exceptions the above described test, is a great starting point in evaluating your potential claim.