How does the SSA determine whether an individual is disabled?

Jamie Johnson, Social Security Attorney at CR Legal Team answers:

The Social Security Administration uses a five step sequential evaluation process for determining whether an individual is disabled under the rules and regulations.

(1) Is the individual working (If an individual is working and making above a certain amount of money, then SSA presumes the individual is engaging in substantial gainful activity)

(2) Does the individual have a severe impairment or combination of severe impairments?

(3) Does the individual's severe impairment or combination of impairments meet a Listing (certain criteria that must be met)

(4) If no listing met, then can the individual perform any past relevant work (SSA looks at work performed within the last 15 years or 15 years prior to the date of disability)

(5) If unable to perform any past relevant work, can the individual perform any other work in the national economy based upon age, education, work experience, and limitations as a result of severe impairment (s)?

It is very tricky navigating the landscape of Social Security Disability applications. A large majority of disability applicants get rejected at the initial stage. Get help from a knowledgeable Social Security Disability lawyer. Email or call our office at 866-336-4547.

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