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CJ Henry Law Firm, PLLC

How SSA Determines if You Are Disabled

  • Published: September 13, 2012

The Social Security Administration uses a five step sequential process in evaluating disability claims. Ocala, Florida disability attorneys are particularly adept at helping claimants who, for certain reasons, are initially denied benefits. From the outset, however, it is important to note that you must be unable to work any job for at least 12 months to qualify.

Non-Disability Requirements

SSA has two programs: SSD and SSI. In order to qualify for SSI a claimant must meet specific asset and income requirements. Claimants for SSD, the more usual route for disability claims, must have paid Social Security taxes for a minimum number of quarters to qualify. If you have questions about this or other issues regarding qualification, Ocala, Florida disability attorneys have the knowledge and experience to help.

The Five-Step Evaluation

The following five-step process is used sequentially to determine if you qualify. This means that if SSA determines you are ineligible at one level, they stop there and don’t continue down the list:

1. You are not engaging in “substantial gainful activity” (SGA); and
2. You have a “severe” medically determinable impairment; and
3. Your impairment meets or “equals” one of the impairments described in the Social Security regulations known as the “Listing of Impairments;” or
4. Considering your “residual functional capacity” (RFC), you are unable to do your “past relevant work” (PRW); and
5. You cannot make an adjustment to other work that exists in significant numbers, considering your RFC, age, education, and work experience.

Often referred to as the “Blue Book,” the Listing of Impairments deals with 14 different body systems which, when compromised through disease or injury, can qualify an individual for benefits. A final note: the terms and phrases in quotation marks carry very specific definitions. Ask Ocala, Florida disability attorneys about any that you are not absolutely sure about.

Call Us

If you are disabled and unable to work, you may eligible for one of the disability programs offered by SSA. Call the Ocala, Florida disability attorneys at CJ Henry for a consultation today. The number is (352) 304-5300.

Claudeth Henry

Attorney Henry is a Florida disability lawyer uniquely suited to
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