Health Care

How does the Social Security Administration determine if I am disabled?

How does the Social Security Administration determine if I am disabled?

The Social Security Administration employs a five stop process to decide whether a claimant is disabled. Step 1 looks into whether the claimant is actually performing substantial gainful activity. If the claimant has been earning more than about $1,200 a month, they will not be eligible for disability benefits. Step 2 looks into whether the claimant has severe medically determinable impairments. These impairments can be physical or mental impairments but must be more than a minimal effect on work activity. Step 3 looks to see whether the severe impairment or impairments meet a listing. Listings lay out the standards that medical impairments must meet in order to result in a finding of disability. Step 4 looks into the claimant’s past relevant work. If the claimant is able to perform any of their jobs within their past relevant work (work they performed during the last 15 years), then they are not disabled. Finally, in Step 5, a determination is made whether the claimant can perform any other work in the national economy.