The Social Security Administration uses a 5-step sequential evaluation process which considers the severity of your impairment and your ability to work
Step 1: What is your current work status?
If you are working, your earnings must be below the level of substantial gainful activity (SGA). Earning more than the SGA amount may disqualify you from receiving Social Security disability benefits. There are special regulations for self-employed claimants.
Step 2: How severe is your condition?
Is your medical condition severe enough to significantly limit your ability to perform basic work activities. In addition, the impairment must last, or be expected to last, for a continuous period of not less than 12 months.
Step 3: Is your condition included on the SSA’s list of impairments?
The Social Security Administration has criteria for more than 150 categories of medical conditions, called “listings.” These listed impairments are severe enough to presumptively preclude a person from working. If you “meet or equal” the criteria of a listing you will be granted benefits.
Step 4: Can you do work you did before? If the Social Security Administration finds that you are still able to perform your past relevant work, benefits are denied. If you cannot perform your past work, then the process proceeds to the fifth and final step.
Step 5: Can you do any other work?
Social Security considers a claimant’s age, education, work experience and physical/mental condition to make this determination. If Social Security finds that you cannot make a transition to other work, you will be granted benefits.
According to the Social Security Administration, you are disabled if:
- You cannot do the work you did before.
- You cannot adjust to other work because of your medical condition(s)
- Your disability has lasted, or is expected to last for at least one year or result in death
The experienced Colorado Social Security Disability lawyers at McDivitt law firm can help you answer these questions. Call toll free (877) 846-4878 to arrange a free initial consultation or click here for an initial consultation form. You will never pay a fee until we collect back pay for you.