Evaluating a Social Security Disability Claim
Sequential Evaluation Process
If you have applied for Social Security disability benefits, your St. Petersburg Social Security disability attorney will likely discuss the sequential evaluation process with you. The Social Security Administration utilizes a five-step evaluation to assess whether your impairment rises to the level of being a disability that would qualify you for benefits. Additionally, your St. Petersburg Social Security disability attorney can explain that if the Administration determines that you are or are not disabled at any step in the process, the next step will not proceed.
The first step of the evaluation process is to determine if you are engaging in “substantial gainful activity.” If you are, you will not be found to be disabled. If you are not, the evaluation continues.
Next, your St. Petersburg Social Security disability attorney can explain that you have a medically determinable impairment that is considered “severe.” Your St. Petersburg Social Security disability attorney can also inform you that your impairment must be one that has lasted or is expected to last for at least one year.
Your St. Petersburg Social Security disability attorney will also explain that the third step is one in which he or she will argue that you have an impairment that is on the Listing of Impairments or that one or more of your impairments equals one of those in the Listing.
The Social Security Administration attempts to determine whether you can perform past relevant work based on your residual functional capacity. Your St. Petersburg Social Security disability attorney can explain this legal term to you.
The final step, as your St. Petersburg Social Security disability attorney can explain, is to determine whether or not you can adjust to other work that is available in significant numbers in the national economy. Your St. Petersburg Social Security disability attorney will inform you that this determination depends on your experience, age, education and residual functional capacity.
A St. Petersburg social security disability lawyer can further explain this information to you to help show the burden you must meet. For more information, contact St. Petersburg social security disability lawyer Mike Murburg at (877) 774-2889.