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Overview of Sequential Evaluation Process

Livonia Social Security AttorneyLivonia Social Security Attorney

To receive your SSD benefits, you will have to meet the five step Sequential Evaluation Process. For legal assistance in this process, you may benefit from hiring an established Livonia Social Security disability lawyer.

The Sequential Evaluation Process

The Social Security Administration (SSA) uses a five-step sequential evaluation process to find whether you are disabled for purposes of either SSI or Social Security disability, the two disability programs handled by SSA. If they conclude that you are not disabled at a given step, the determination process ends and will not progress to the next step. Those five steps are:

  1. You are currently not doing any “substantial gainful activity” (SGA); and
  2. You possess a “severe” medically determinable impairment; and
  3. Your impairment satisfies or “equals” one of the impairments listed in the Social Security regulations known as the “Listing of Impairments;” or
  4. Given your present “residual functional capacity” (RFC), you cannot do your “past relevant work” (PRW); and
  5. You are unable to adapt to other work readily available in the economy, considering your RFC, age, education, and work experience.

Your Livonia Social Security disability lawyer will urge you to exercise caution when dealing with terms identified by quotation marks and the initials that accompany some of them, for they are specifically defined in the law, and these meanings may be different from what you may have thought.

To be found disabled you must also meet the “duration requirement,” meaning your disability must persist for 12 full months.

How You Can Be Found Not Disabled

Your Livonia Social Security disability lawyer will discuss with you the six ways that you could be found not disabled. You are not found disabled if you:

  • Are working at the SGA level (Step 1).
  • Do not have medically determinable impairment (Step 2).
  • Have a medically determinable impairment that does not greatly restrict your physical or mental capacity to perform basic work activities (Step 2).
  • Fall short of meeting the duration requirement.
  • Are able to do past relevant work (Step 4).
  • Are able to do other work (Step 5).

You must additionally meet the “non-disability” requirements for eligibility for the Social Security disability program. This means that you must have worked and paid adequate amount of Social Security taxes to earn sufficient work quarters (QCs) to qualify. For the SSI program, you must meet income and asset requirements.

A Livonia Social Security disability lawyer will assist you in obtaining SSD benefits. Call J.B. Bieske and Jennifer Alfonsi, Attorneys at Law, at 1-800-331-3530.

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

19991 Hall Road, Suite 202
Macomb, MI 48044
Phone: 586-977-8100
Fax: 586-977-8444

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