Please Call One of Our board-certified Worker's compensation Specialists For a Free Consultation (833) 444-4127

Cardinal Law Partners.

Please Call One of Our board-certified Worker's compensation Specialists For a Free Consultation (833) 444-4127

Five-Step Process For SSDI Claims - Cardinal Law PartnersApplying for Social Security Disability is often an ordeal that consumes a significant amount of your mental energy and time. At the heart of this is the Five-Step Sequential Evaluation Process, and understanding it is your key to saving your effort and sanity.

Think of it as the roadmap, a guide that determines the eligibility of individuals seeking disability benefits. This approach directs the evaluation of every claimant’s case with a level of precision that leaves no room for ambiguity and is a critical lifeline for those navigating the challenging terrain of disability claims.

In the chapters that follow, we’ll take a deep dive into each of these steps. For now, in this opening chapter, we’ll overview each step of the sequential evaluation process, bringing clarity to the many complexities you will likely encounter along the way and shedding light on the criteria that could make or break your disability claim.

The Five-Step Sequential Evaluation Process: An Overview

The Social Security Administration uses a consistent and structured approach known as the Five-Step Sequential Evaluation Process when evaluating every claimant for Social Security Disability. This process involves a step-by-step assessment to determine your eligibility for disability benefits.

  • Step One: Work Activity

The first step involves evaluating your work activity. This assesses whether you are currently engaged in substantial gainful activity that might disqualify you from receiving disability benefits.

  • Step Two: Medical Severity Of Impairment

The second step considers the medical severity of your impairment. This involves an examination of the nature and extent of the medical condition to determine its impact on your ability to work.

  • Step Three: Meeting A Listing

The third step involves assessing whether your medical impairment meets the criteria outlined in the listings of impairments provided by the Social Security Administration.

  • Step Four: Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) & Past Work

Step four evaluates your residual functional capacity (RFC) – an assessment of your ability to perform work-related activities despite being impaired. This step additionally considers whether you can return to your previous job.

  • Step Five: Functional Capacity Evaluation, Age, Education, & Other Work

The fifth and final step assesses whether you can engage in substantial gainful employment, considering your functional capacity evaluation, age, education, and work experience. The Social Security Administration determines if there is other work available you can perform depending on your results.

The Social Security Administration relies on various forms of evidence to make these determinations, primarily focusing on medical records and input from medical professionals. In the past, treating physicians’ opinions carried more weight; the administration now places greater emphasis on objective medical testing results, such as blood work, MRIs, and X-rays.

These same five steps of the evaluation process are used in the initial application or when a Social Security Administrative Law Judge reviews a case. Each step is considered sequentially. Now, let’s delve into each step individually in these next few chapters, providing a more detailed analysis of each part of the evaluation process.

For more information on The Five-Step Sequential Evaluation Process For SSDI Claims, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (833)444-4127 today.

Cardinal Law Partners.

Please Call One of Our board-certified
Worker's compensation Specialists
For a Free Consultation
(833) 444-4127

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