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The Severity Step

If you have specific questions about how the Social Security Administration (SSA) evaluates claims, you should consider speaking with a Macomb County Social Security disability attorney today. The evaluation process is particularly complex and involves the evaluation of medical records and occupational limitations. The SSA employs what is known as a “sequential evaluation process” to determine whether an applicant has a “severe impairment” – which is a prerequisite to receiving Social Security disability benefits.

Man in a Wheelchair

Purpose of the Severity Step

The purpose of the severity step is to separate frivolous claims from those involving severe impairments. Frivolous cases are those which involve either no medically determinable medical condition or a slight medically determinable condition that imposes minor limitations on one’s ability to work. The SSA looks at an applicant’s “residual functional capacity” to determine what physical limitations are present in order to satisfy the severity requirement.

Medically Determinable Conditions

The SSA will need concrete evidence of a medically determinable condition to find an applicant eligible for disability benefits. Your Macomb County Social Security disability attorney will help you submit your medical records and diagnostic information for the SSA’s review. The SSA agents responsible for reviewing your claim will look for evidence that your condition is severe enough to preclude you from continuing to work in your current job. Even minor symptoms are considered as part of the evaluation process.

If, despite a thorough investigation, the agent believes the applicant is not disabled, he will issue a finding of “no symptom or combination of symptoms can be the basis for a finding of disability, no matter how genuine the individual’s complaints may appear to be, unless there are medical signs and laboratory findings demonstrating the existence of a medically determinable physical or mental impairment.” In this instance, you may be required to submit additional medical advice or seek another opinion. You have a number of appeals rights with regard to your SSD benefits and your Macomb County Social Security disability attorney will ensure that you have submitted enough information to meet the SSA’s criteria.

If you are facing a disability and would like legal advice as to whether you should apply for benefits, contact J.B. Bieske and Jennifer Alfonsi, Attorneys at Law, today at 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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