Q: What is the 5 step process to evaluate your disability?
1. The first question the SSA asks is “Are you working?”
If you are working and your earnings average more than $1,000 a month, the SSA will not consider you disabled.
2. If you are not working, is your condition "severe"?
Your medical condition must be severe enough to interfere with basic work-related activities for your claim to be considered. If it does not, the SSA will not find you disabled.
3. If your condition interferes with your ability to work, is your condition found in the list of disabling conditions?
The SSA maintains a list of medical conditions that are so severe and disabling that if you are diagnosed with one or more of these conditions, it automatically means that you are disabled. If your condition is not on the list of medical conditions, the SSA will decide if it is of equal severity to a medical condition that is on the list. If it is, the SSA will find that you are disabled.
4. If your medical condition is not on the list or not of equal severity to those on the list, can you do the work you did previously?
If your condition is severe but not the same or level of severity as a medical condition on the list, then the SSA determines if it interferes with your ability to do the work you did previously. If your medical condition does not interfere with the work that you previously did, the SSA will likely deny your claim.
5. If your medical condition prevents you from doing the work you did previously, can you do any other type of work?
If you cannot do the work you previously did, the SSA will determine if you are able to do any other type of work. The SSA will look into your medical conditions and your age, education, past work experience and any transferable skills you may have obtained. If you cannot adjust to other work, your claim will be approved. If you can adjust to other work, your claim will be denied.