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The Five-Step Sequential Evaluation Process – Step 5: Can The Applicant Adjust To Other Work?

By Kenton Koszdin on August 1, 2018 | In Disability Insurance

The Five-Step Sequential Evaluation Process – Step 5: Can The Applicant Adjust To Other Work?

The Social Security Act and its accompanying Code of Regulations provide for a five-step sequential evaluation process to assess whether applicants have a disability that qualifies them for benefits under federal law. 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.

Step 5 – Can the applicant make an adjustment to any other work? 
If the SSA determines at step four that an applicant can no longer do past relevant work, the next query is whether the applicant has the ability to adjust to another type of job or work. At the fifth and last step, the Social Security Administration (SSA) considers its assessment of an applicant’s residual functional capacity (RFC) and age, education, and work experience to determine whether the applicant can make an adjustment to other work. If so, Social Security will find that the applicant is not disabled. If the applicant cannot make an adjustment to other work, the SSA will find that the applicant is disabled.

 

If the SSA cannot make a determination or decision at the first three steps of the sequential evaluation process, it will compare its residual functional capacity assessment with the physical and mental demands of your past relevant work. If an applicant can still do this kind of work, Social Security will find that the applicant is not disabled.

If the SSA finds that the applicant cannot do any of his or her past relevant work because he or she has a severe impairment(s) (or does not have any past relevant work), Social Security will consider the same residual functional capacity assessment it made together with the applicant’s vocational factors (age, education, and work experience) to determine if he or she can make an adjustment to other work. If so, the SSA will find the applicant not disabled. If it cannot, the SSA will find the applicant disabled.

The SSA uses different rules if an applicant meets one of the two special medical-vocational profiles. If so, Social Security will find that the applicant cannot make an adjustment to other work and is disabled.

The Social Security Act’s applicable regulations further require that if the result is a finding that an applicant is capable of adjusting and performing other work, the SSA is “responsible for providing evidence that demonstrates that other work exists in significant numbers in the national economy.”

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 Kentucky 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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