The Five Steps To Determine Social Security Disability

Applying for SSDI benefits and getting your claim approved can be a very stressful and lengthy process. After applying, the SSA usually takes about 3 to 5 months to analyze your situation and evidence and come to a decision. During these months, the SSA administration conducts a sequential evaluation process to determine whether you are eligible for the benefits. 

If you are nervous or worried about not getting your claim approved, consult with a Fayetteville social security disability attorney. A skilled attorney knows how the SSA operates and will use this knowledge to help you successfully navigate the claims process. 

Five steps to determine social security disability:

Step 1: The SSA asks whether you are working. 

The first step will be the SSA asking you if you work and how much money you make every month. To be eligible for SSA benefits, your monthly income should be less than a certain amount decided by the administration themselves. For 2020, this amount was $1260 per month. If you earn more than the given amount, then it is considered Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA), and the SSA would not consider you disabled. In case you earn less than that, the SSA moves forward to the next step. 

Step 2: The SSA asks whether your impairment is severe. 

After ensuring that you are currently not earning enough, the SSA will aim to determine whether your injuries are severe enough and whether they threaten your professional life. If your injuries are not so severe to prevent you from working, the SSA will deny your claim. If the SSA initially approves your claim and then later finds out that you have recovered, it will discontinue the benefits.

Step 3: The SSA asks whether your disability is listed in their book. 

The SSA Blue Book or Disability Evaluation Under Social Security lists impairments and medical severities considered disabling by the administration. You will be awarded the benefits if your illness or disability matches with one in their listing or is an equivalent disability. 

Step 4: The SSA asks whether you can do your previous job.

If your condition is found severe by the SSA but at the same time is not listed in the Blue Book, the SSA must determine if you can work one of the old jobs that you worked in the last 15 years. If you can work, your claim will be denied. 

Step 5: The SSA asks whether you can do a different job. 

If the SSA finds that your condition does not allow you to work at one of your old jobs, it will determine whether you can work a different job. It will go through your age, skills, work history, and education to find a suitable job for you. If they can find a job for you, your claim will be denied. If not, you will receive the benefits. 

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