The Social Security disability claims process is very complex, requiring the assistance of an Ocala Social Security disability lawyer who is familiar with the rules and regulations. The most important thing your lawyer needs to be well versed on is the Sequential Evaluation Process the Social Security Administration (SSA) uses in reviewing claims and awarding benefits.
The Sequential Evaluation Process involves five steps. Although a claimant must meet the requirements of steps 1 and 2, meeting or “medically equaling” the requirements of step 3 is not necessary to be awarded disability benefits.
Even though it is not necessary to meet the requirements of step 3 of the Sequential Evaluation Process, if you do, the SSA will automatically award benefits without proceeding to steps 4 and 5.
To satisfy Step 3 of the process, the claimant’s symptoms and findings must meet or “medically equal” one of the sets of medical symptoms found in the Listing of Impairments. This is a list of medical conditions created by the SSA to determine which medical conditions require benefits.
If your medical condition is not found on the Listing of Impairments, the battle is not over. Your Ocala Social Security disability lawyer can argue that your disability is medically equivalent to an impairment on the Listing. You can also qualify for Social Security disability benefits at step 3 if the totality of your symptoms cumulatively equals a listing.
For more information about the Sequential Evaluation Process, contact Ocala Social Security disability lawyer CJ Henry at 352.304.5300.