Sequential Evaluation Overview

The Social Security Administration’s Sequential Evaluation Process

The Social Security Administration has a five-step sequential evaluation process that it uses to determine whether or not you are disabled for the purposes of either of the two disability programs that are currently under the Social Security Administration’s purview (the SSI program or the Social Security disability program).

The five steps of the sequential evaluation process include an in-depth look into: whether or not you are an active participant in what Social Security refers to as a “substantial gainful activity”; whether you have an ailment that would be considered to be “major and medically-determinable”; whether that ailment equals or meets any one of the Social Security Administration’s listed impairments as discussed in the agency’s regulations; or, when considering your “residual functional capacity,” whether or not you are incapable of doing any of your previous jobs; and whether or not you can adjust to do any other types of jobs, based on your age, job experience, education, and residual functional capacity. What’s more, in order for you to be found disabled, it must be shown that your disability will last for a minimum of at least 12 full months. For more information on this or any other requirements, you may want to consider contacting a knowledgeable Denver disability attorney who can help you based on the particulars of your case.

You should also note that there are six ways that the Social Security Administration can find that you are not disabled. For instance, you will be found not to be disabled if you are currently participating in any substantial gainful activity (as determined by the Social Security Administration). Also, if Social Security determines that you do not have a medically-determinable injury, or that you do actually suffer from a medically-determinable ailment, but that impairment does not seriously impede your physical or mental ability to do simple work, you may be deemed to be not disabled.

Further, the Social Security Administration may deem you not to be disabled if you do not meet the duration period requirements of the agency; if you have the ability to do any of your past relevant work; or if you are able to do any other type of work that currently exists in the economy. However, you should remember that there are also certain “non-disability” qualifications that must be met in order for you to be eligible for the Social Security disability program. For example, you must have maintained employment and paid a satisfactory amount of Social Security taxes in order to have earned enough work quarters to qualify.

If you need a qualified Denver disability attorney, please call John Cimino at (305) 416-0072 for a free consultation.