Am I Eligible For Social Security Disability – Part 2

In the first part of this five part series, we discussed substantial gainful activity at step 1 of the sequential evaluation process and how working affects eligibility to social security disability.  In this series, we will discuss how the severity of your medical condition factors in to the eligibility process.

To recap, the Social Security Administration uses the five step sequential evaluation to determine eligibility.  If you fail at any step, your claim will be denied.

  • Step 1 – Are you currently working?
  • Step 2 – Is your condition severe?
  • Step 3 – Does your medical condition meet or equal a listed impairment?
  • Step 4 – Can you perform past work?
  • Step 5 – Can you do any other type of work?

Step 2

If  you are not working, or are working below the subtantial gainful activity level, you will pass step 1 to be evaluated at step 2.  At step 2, your condition must prevent you from performing basic work activities for at least twelve (12) months to qualify for activities.  If your condition will prevent you from working for less than a year, you will be denied.  Private short-term and long-term disability insurance benefits may be available in those situations.  The timing of your application may affect the outcome of your claim in some cases.  Therefore, it may be wise to consult with a disability attorney to determine when you should apply.

In the next series, we will discuss step 3, “Does your medical condition meet or equal a listed impairment?”