This page briefly describes the evaluation used by the Social Security Administration to determine if a person is disabled. The law is very complicated with regard to some parts of this evaluation, so this is not intended to be a exhaustive discussion of the law. However, it will provide a claimant with a brief overview of the issues that will be considered in determining disability. A brief description of the five steps are as follows (click on the links for more information).
The Five Steps In A Tulsa Social Security Disability Claim Evaluation
Tulsa Disability Attorney Explains Social Security Eligibility
What steps does the Social Security Administration (SSA) use to evaluate a disability claim? Our Social Security attorneys provide the following explanations of the five sequential questions the SSA uses in evaluating every claimant, or person filing for disability benefits, for Social Security eligibility. Reviewing each of these steps can help you understand the disability requirements needed for a successful Oklahoma disability claim.
The Tulsa SSI lawyers of Troutman & Troutman are available to answer any specific questions you have. We can explain the Social Security Disability claims process during a free initial consultation concerning your Oklahoma disability benefits.
The Five-Step Evaluation Process
- Is My Work Considered Substantial Gainful Activity? A person cannot be found disabled if they are engaged in substantial gainful activity (SGA). If a person is working, and that work is SGA, the SSA will not find that person disabled. The five-step sequential disability evaluation then stops. Although work for brief periods or part-time work may not constitute SGA, most jobs satisfy the requirements for SGA. Follow the link above for more information about employment that constitutes SGA.
- Do I Have a Severe Impairment? The SSA determines that most people who apply for disability benefits have a severe impairment because almost any impairment that affects your ability to work meets this requirement. However, a determination that you have a severe impairment does not mean you are disabled. Instead, it simply means that the analysis proceeds to the next step of the disability claims process. On this page, you can learn more about how the SSA defines severe impairment and what this means for your disability claim evaluation.
- Do I Have a Listed Impairment? Federal regulations include a list of specific disability impairments that would prevent a person from working regardless of their age, education or previous work experience. If the SSA determines that your impairments meet, or equal, impairments included in the listings of impairments, then they will find you to be disabled. Then disability evaluation then ends at this step. If your impairments do not fall under the listings, it does not mean that you do not have a disability. It simply means that the analysis proceeds to the next step of the evaluation. See if your disability falls under a listed impairment by visiting this resource page on our site.
- What does the SSA Consider as Past Relevant Work? A person is not disabled if he or she can perform past relevant work. Past relevant work includes any substantial gainful activity that you performed in the last 15 years. The SSA must determine the specific requirements of your past jobs and compare those requirements with your current impairments. If you cannot perform your past relevant work, then your claim for disability benefits will proceed to step five of the disability evaluation process. Find more information about how your past relevant work may affect your disability claim by reading this page.
- Is There Any Other Work I Can Perform? Work Eligibility Once you show the SSA that you cannot perform your past work, it must determine if there are a significant number of other jobs in the regional or national economy that you can perform. If the SSA determines that there are not a significant number of jobs you can perform, then it will affirm your disability. The SSA considers several factors in making this determination. This may include your age, your education, skills that you acquired in your past work and your impairments.
Ask a Tulsa Disability Attorney about Your Social Security Disability Eligibility
Our disability attorneys have assisted hundreds filing for disability in and around Tulsa. We help people get the Social Security benefits they deserve by guiding them through the initial application process and, if needed, their disability claim appeal.
We never charge for an initial attorney case review of a disability claim. Our attorneys do not take a payment for their services unless they are successful.
Committed to Keeping You Informed
We understand that this can be a stressful and confusing time which, is why we pride ourselves on doing everything we can to keep you informed and knowledgeable about your case. Not only do we have an array of video and FAQs, but we also allow you direct access to your dedicated attorney.
Dedicated & Trusted Counsel
Our attorneys are passionate about disability law. Everyone who works at our firm is here because they believe in helping people. We commit to representing clients through every part of the Social Security Disability claims process.
Over 25 Years of Dedicated Experience
Since 1993, our attorneys have been helping people throughout Oklahoma get the Social Security benefits they deserve. Regardless of where you are in your case, our knowledgeable and experienced attorneys are here to help you obtain what you deserve.
Disability Law Is All We Do
Social Security Disability is a unique area of the law because it is about representing clients going through very difficult times. We help by getting people the benefits they have earned and deserve. Our firm is proud of the fact that disability law is all we do.