Social Security's Process For Evaluating SSDI Claims
Even with an experienced disability representative working on your claim for Social Security Disability benefits, it is also important for you to understand your eligibility and the SSDI filing process.
In order to meet the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) definition of disability, you must be unable to perform substantial work due to your physical or mental conditions. To be eligible, these conditions must be expected to last at least 12 months, or end in death. To determine your eligibility for SSDI, every SSDI case is reviewed using a 5 step sequential evaluation process:
1. Are you engaging in Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA)? For years 2010 & 2011 SGA is defined as $1000/month gross. If you are earning more than this amount, SSA considers you to be engaging in SGA, and therefore ineligible for SSDI.
2. Are your conditions or combination of conditions severe enough? A severe impairment is one that significantly limits your ability to do basic work activities. If your conditions are considered to be severe enough to prevent your ability to work, you will meet the definition of disability.
3. Do you meet or equal one of Social Security’s disability listings? Social Security has a list of several impairments with specific medical criteria. If you meet all of the criteria, you are disabled under Social Security’s rules. This determination is made on your medical evidence alone.
4. Are you able to engage in Past Relevant Work (PRW)? PRW is considered any work performed 15 years from day of the disability determination. If you are able to perform your past job(s), you do not meet SSA’s definition of disability.
5. Can you perform any other jobs that exist in significant numbers in the national economy? Social Security must prove that you are able to perform other work.
If you have a claim pending, or if you need assistance with applying for Social Security Disability benefits, please contact us today. A GENEX representative is here to assist you and to complete a free evaluation to determine your SSDI eligibility.