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Five-Step Sequential Evaluation – Three Exceptions

Social Security Benefits formSocial Security Benefits form

Your Novi Social Security disability attorney may try to explore whether you meet the three exceptions to the sequential evaluation, and be found disabled without passing all five steps.

Three Special Profiles

It is possible for you to be found disabled even if you failed to complete the standard five-step sequential evaluation process. Should you meet at least one of three special medical-vocational profiles, you will be found disabled without moving to step five and without referring to the Medical-Vocational Guidelines for help. A Novi Social Security disability attorney can help you find out if you meet the three special profiles.

Profile #1:

A claimant will be found disabled if he or she:

  • Suffers from a severe, medically determinable impairment;
  • Is at least 55 years old;
  • Has received 11th grade education or less; and
  • Lacks previous relevant work experience.

Profile #2 (the “worn-out worker”):

A claimant will be found disabled if he or she:

  • Has received only up to a sixth grade-level education;
  • Worked 35 years at difficult routine labor; and
  • Can no longer do the difficult routine labor performed in the past.

Profile #3:

A claimant will be found disabled if he or she:

  • Is currently not working at SGA level.
  • Has worked most of life (minimum of 30 years) at a field of work that requires little skill, or has worked most of life at a field of work that requires at least some skill but has no transferable skills.
  • Is limited by a serious impairment and is no longer able to engage in this past work.
  • Is rapidly nearing retirement age (age 60 or older).
  • Only received a trivial amount of education.

Ineligible Despite Being Disabled

Your Novi Social Security disability attorney should warn you about the two ways you can be found not disabled even after you finished the sequential disability evaluation process and the SSA consequently concluded that you are disabled. You won’t be found disabled if:

  • You refuse to abide by prescribed treatment without justification. The SSA can determine that a claimant is not disabled based on this action only after it determines that you are otherwise disabled. You must be treated by your own doctor, and such treatment must be “clearly expected to restore” your working ability.
  • The SSA considers drug addiction or alcoholism to be “a contributing factor material to the determination of disability.” It will resolve this issue only after it concludes that you are disabled when taking into account all impairments, even impairments resulting from alcoholism or drug addiction. Afterward, the SSA will reexamine the impairments to determine whether you would remain disabled once you put an end to your drugs or alcohol abuse.

J.B. Bieske and Jennifer Alfonsi, Attorneys at Law, can provide you with an experienced Novi Social Security disability attorney who will take over your Social Security disability case. Call them today at 1-800-331-3530 for free initial consultation.

J.B. Bieske & Jennifer Alfonsi, Attorneys at Law

19991 Hall Road, Suite 202
Macomb, MI 48044
Phone: 586-977-8100
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800-331-3530