Your future is in the hands of the Social Security Administration (SSA); it is the SSA that is going to decide whether you qualify for Social Security disability. The thought of having your Social Security disability application rejected is terrifying. How will you put food on the table and keep a roof over your head if you can’t earn a living and you don’t qualify for disability benefits?
Before you let your mind go to the worst-case scenario, let’s consider what SSA staff members are looking for when they review your Social Security disability application.
Here’s How the Decision Will Be Made
The SSA will consider the following five factors when making a disability determination:
- Can you engage in substantial gainful activity? If the answer is yes, then you are not disabled, but if the answer is no, the SSA will proceed to the next question.
- Is your disability severe? If the answer is no, then you are not disabled, but if the answer is yes, the SSA will proceed to the next question.
- Does your condition meet the severity of a listing established by the SSA? If the answer is yes then you are disabled. If the answer is no, the SSA will consider your residual functional capacity (RFC), which assesses your maximum ability to do sustained work-related activities on a regular and continual basis.
- Can you do any of your past relevant work? If the answer is yes, then you are not disabled, but if the answer is no, the SSA will proceed to the next and final question.
- Can you make an adjustment to another kind of work? If the answer is yes, then you are not disabled, but if the answer is no, you are disabled.
For steps one to four, the burden is on you to provide the SSA with the right evidence to support your claim of total disability.
Want to Know More About Social Security Disability?
Now is the time to get your questions answered. Request your free copy of our important report, Social Security Disability: What You Need to Know, or start a live chat with us at any time that is convenient for you.
by Carl M. Weisbrod Managing Partner of Morgan & Weisbrod, Board Certified in Social Security Disability Law