Applying for Social Security Disability (SSD) is not an easy process. Figuring out if you will meet the requirements for SSD can be even more difficult. Michigan Social Security Disability lawyers presents the following article on how Social Security decides if a person is disabled for purposes of awarding benefits.
The Social Security Administration has implemented a five-step process in determining whether you are disabled. First, Social Security will ask whether you are working. If you are working, and earning above approximately $1,070 a month, you generally will not be deemed disabled. However, if you are either not working, or earning below the maximum allotted amount, your claim will continue to the second step.
Next, Social Security will consider whether your conditions are severe. Your conditions are generally considered severe if they disrupt basic work related activities. At least one of your impairments must be considered severe to be considered for disability. If at least one of your conditions is severe, your claim will continue on to the third step.
Third, Social Security will determine whether one or more of your conditions fall within a particular list of disabling impairments. The particular list, as created by the Social Security Administration, states specific impairments that are considered so severe that they automatically qualify you as disabled.
However, many of the impairments on the list have specific medical criteria that must be met. In addition, your specific impairment(s) generally must be supported by medical documentation. If you have an impairment that specifically meets the criteria of one of the impairments on the particular list, as created by Social Security, you will likely be considered disabled. If one of your impairments is not on the list, or your impairment does not specifically meet the qualifications on the list, then you must continue to the fourth step.
Fourth, the Social Security Administration will determine whether you are able to return to one of your previous jobs. However, the Social Security Administration will only consider the past 15 years of jobs you have held. If you can return to one of your previous jobs, you will likely not be deemed disabled. If you cannot return to any of your previous jobs, you are not considered disabled and your claim will continue on to the last step.
Last, the Social Security Administration will question whether you can adjust to some other type of work. The Social Security Administration will consider your medical conditions, age, education, work history, and any transferable work skills you have.
The Social Security Administration will not take into account how much the job pays, or what job you would feel comfortable performing. If you cannot adjust to other work, you will likely be considered disabled. If you can adjust to other work, your disability claim will likely be denied by the Social Security Administration.
The five-step process discussed above is a basic understanding of the Social Security Disability criteria.
For direct assistance regarding your claim, or if you have any questions about this process, please contact the Michigan Social Security Disability lawyers at the Lee Steinberg Law Firm, P.C. We will always do our best to help answer your questions. Call Lee Free at 1-800-533-3733.