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5-Step Process For SSDI Determination


You are injured or ill to the point of disability — or so you think. It’s difficult for you to work and earn money. You’ve been injured for a few months and think you could be injured for a long time. But are you truly disabled in the eyes of the Social Security Administration (SSA)?

Maybe, maybe not. It is up to that agency to determine if you are disabled if you want to receive Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefits. Monthly payments can be extremely helpful, serving as a source of income for those who cannot earn enough money to pay bills. However, you need to qualify for these benefits first, and it’s not as easy as you think. Are you truly qualified? Here are the steps you will have to go through.

Substantial Gainful Activity

To qualify for SSDI benefits, you do not have to be disabled to the point where you cannot work at all. However, if you are engaging in too much substantial gainful activity (SGA), then your claim may be denied. SGA refers to any work performed for pay or profit. It can be part-time or full-time. However, if your earnings exceed a certain amount, then the SSA will consider you disabled.

Severity of Impairment 

If the applicant is not engaging in SGA, then the next step is to determine what impairment they have and how it limits their ability to perform basic work activities. An impairment is considered severe if it affects tasks such as sitting, standing, walking, carrying, or lifting.

Listing of impairments 

If the applicant has a severe impairment, is it listed in the SSA’s listing of impairments? That is the next step. This list is known as the blue book and it contains all the medical conditions that are considered serious enough to automatically qualify an individual for disability benefits. However, it is possible for an applicant to still be considered disabled even if their condition is not listed in the blue book. They just have to have sufficient proof of disability.

Ability to Perform Past Work 

Proving disability is done by determining if the person can perform their past relevant work. This refers to the type of work they have performed in the past 15 years. Can they perform at the substantial gainful activity level? If so, for how long?

Ability to Perform Other Work

This is the final step in the process. The SSA will try to determine what type of job, if any, the person can do. What can the person do based on their age, education, and work experience? The SSA will also take into consideration the person’s ability to perform basic work-related tasks despite their impairment. If they cannot engage in any other work due to their condition, then they will generally be considered disabled.

Learn More About Social Security Disability Benefits

The disability process can be long. There are five main steps involved and determining your eligibility for benefits can be an arduous process.

A White Plains Social Security Disability lawyer from The Law Office of Michael Lawrence Varon can help you get your benefits in a timely manner. Fill out the online form or call (914) 228-1770 to schedule a free consultation.



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