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About The Five-Step Sequential Evaluation Process In Disability Cases

By Kenton Koszdin on July 25, 2018 | In Disability Insurance

About The Five-Step Sequential Evaluation Process In Disability Cases

The Code of Federal Regulations of the Social Security Act contains provisions that detail a five-step sequential evaluation process for determining disability. Each step may be expressed in the form of a question asked by the examiner or judge about an individual applying for disability. These five steps flow from the definition of disability found in the Social Security Act.

Applicants who file a claim for disability benefits under the Social Security Act are typically required to have a medically determinable physical or mental impairment that is sufficiently severe enough to prevent them from doing their previous work. This impairment, along with considerations of their age, education, and work experience, must prevent them from engaging in any other kind of substantial gainful work which exists in the national workplace.

When adjudicating the average disability matter, the Social Security Administration (SSA) follows set procedures consisting of a sequence of inquiries. During this sequence of inquiries, the SSA will evaluate whether an applicant’s medical condition or illness (impairments) meets or equals a listed impairment in the SSA’s Blue Book.

If the Social Security Administration (SSA) can determine whether an applicant is disabled or not disabled at a step of the evaluation process, it renders a decision and the process ends and does not proceed to the next step. If the SSA cannot determine whether an applicant is disabled or not disabled at a step of the process, the SSA proceeds to the next step.

The Blue Book’s listings of impairments contain more than a few severe medical conditions, which makes it more difficult to medically meet or equal the criteria. Otherwise, the inquiry proceeds and moves to the next step that requires a determination of an applicant’s residual functional capacity (RFC), a measurement of what an applicant can do despite the limitations caused by his or her impairment. This assessment occurs before the SSA moves from step three to step four and is therefore used if a claim evaluation reaches both step four and step five.

One of the best ways to make sure you understand all of the steps and processes associated with applying for social security disability benefits is to retain the services of a qualified California Social Security Disability attorney. An injury, illness or disability may prevent anyone from performing his or her job to the best of his or her ability. My office is here to protect those who are injured on the job. My office is here to protect those who are disabled, sick, ill and unable to work. The primary goal of the Kenton Koszdin Law Office is to help our clients get as well as possible physically and financially. Contact the Kenton Koszdin Law Office today for a free consultation. We even offer free in-home consultations! Call 800-438-7734 or visit us online. It will be a pleasure to hear from you. Se habla espańol!

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