How does SSA determine disability?

The Social Security Administration (SSA) uses a 5-step evaluation process to determine if you are disabled:

1. Are you currently working?
If your earnings are above the substantial gainful activity (SGA) level, you may be disqualified for benefits.

2. Is you condition severe?
Your condition must prevent you from performing basic work activities for at least twelve (12) months to qualify for benefits.

3. Does your medical condition meet or equal a listed impairment?
If yes, you will be awarded benefits.

4. Can you perform your past work?
If yes, and you did not meet a listing in step three, you will not be found disabled. If no, you proceed to step 5.

5. Can you do any other type of work?

Social Security considers a claimant’s age, education, work experience and physical/mental condition to make this determination. If Social Security finds that you cannot make a transition to other work, you will be granted benefits.