The 5 Hurdles in Social Security Disability Claims Process | Tampa Bay Social Security Disability Attorneys

The Social Security Administration uses a 5 step evaluation process to evaluate every disability claim. You must meet the first 4 hurdles. If you don’t meet each and every hurdle your claim will be denied.

Hurdle 1: Are your earning at least $900.00 per month? If you are engage in “substantial earning activity” (SGA), your claim will be denied at hurdle 1.

Hurdle 2: Do you have a “severe impairment”? Severe is a misleading word. It really means a reduction in your ability to work. If you don’t have a severe impairment, your claim will be denied.

Hurdle 3: Does your impairment meet or equal of the physical or psychiatric impairments found in the Listing of Impairments? If you do, your claim will be granted. Unfortunately, most doctors don’t write their medical reports to meet all the elements of the listing. As a result, most claims are evaluated under Hurdles 4 and 5 which are vocational in nature.

Hurdle 4: Are you unable to perform the lightest type of work you did for the past 15 years ? If you meet this hurdle, the Social Security Administration gets to leap the last hurdle.

Hurdle 5: Are you unable to perform any other type of work for which you are qualified. The term “other work” means any work you could do based on your age, education, work experience, and any mental or physical limitations you have? Social Security uses a tool called the Medical and Vocational Guidelines, known as the Grids, to determine if your are disabled because of medical and vocational factors.

The rules provide that you are not “disabled” if:

1. You are working making $900.00 per month.

2. You do not have a medically determinable impairment.

3. Your impairment does not significantly limit your ability to do basic work.

4. You won’t be disabled for at least 12 months.

5. You are capable of past relevant work

6. You are capable of other work.

Determining disability is a multi-step process. The argument that you “can’t work” won’t get you very far. For more information, and for more help with your claim, click here or call 727-894-3188.

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