Michigan Disability Benefits Lawyer

Social Security Disability (SSD) Evaluation Process

Social Security Disability (SSD) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are the two prominent federal government programs to support those who cannot work due to a disability.  Disability is defined as the inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity (SGA) by reason of any medically determine physical and/or mental impairments that can be expected to result in death or that has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months.

Substantial work activity is work activity that involves doing significant physical or mental activities.  Gainful work activity is work that is usually done for pay or profit, whether or not a profit is realized; this includes self-employment.  The Social Security Administration (SSA) uses a five-step evaluation process to determine whether or not an individual is disabled.

The Five Step Social Security Disability Evaluation Process

1. Are you working?
  • If you are working in 2016 and your gross earnings average more than $1,130 a month, you generally cannot be considered disabled.
  • If you are not working, go to Step 2.
2. Is your condition “severe”?
  • Your condition must interfere with basic work-related activities for your claim to be considered.  If it does not, SSA will find that you are not disabled.
  • If your condition does interfere with basic work-related activities, go to Step 3.
3. Is your condition found in the list of disabling conditions?
  • For each of the major body systems, SSA maintains a list of medical conditions that are so severe they automatically mean that you are disabled. If your condition is not on the list, SSA has to decide if it is of equal severity to a medical condition that is on the list. If it is, SSA will find that you are disabled. If it is not, go to Step 4.
4. Can you do the work you did previously?
  • If your condition is severe but not at the same or equal level of severity as a medical condition on the list, then SSA must determine if it interferes with your ability to do the work you did previously. If it does not, your claim will be denied. If it does, go to Step 5.
5. Can you do any other type of work?
  • If you cannot do the work you did in the past, SSA will see if you are able to adjust to other work.
  • SSA considers your medical condition(s) and your age, education, past work experience and any transferable skills you may have.  If you cannot adjust to other work, your claim will be approved.  If you can adjust to other work, your claim will be denied.

We Can Help With Social Security Disability Benefits

Please call us today at 855-MIKE-WINS or e-mail us to learn how we can help.