To Qualify

The medical standards to qualify for disability benefits are the same for both Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs.  Your medical condition whether it is physical, mental, or a combination of the two, must have lasted or is expected to last at least 12 months.  In addition, these impairments must prevent you from working a full-time job on a sustained basis.

Under the Social Security Act, Social Security Administration (SSA) has set rules and criteria to determine whether your impairments are considered disabling.  While you may identify your condition on SSA’s list, your impairment or an even diagnosis alone may not qualify you for benefits. Likewise, if your impairment is not on the SSA’s list of qualifying conditions, you should not worry. With our experience at Wallace Disability Solutions, we will properly analyze your case to ensure the best chances to qualify you for disability benefits.

SSA applies a Five Step Evaluation to determine if you are disabled:

Step 1.
Are you engaging in “Substantial Gainful Activity”, or rather, are you working? At this initial step, SSA is concerned with earnings over the minimum standard.  In other words, are you performing more than minimal duties in the work environment? If you answer yes, then it is likely your claim will be denied. If the answer is no, we move onto the next step.

S2atep 2.
Do you have a “severe” impairment? Your condition has to last or is expected to last at least 12 months or result in death and interfere with work related duties. If the answer is yes, then we continue with the
evaluation process.

Step 3.

Does your condition meet or “equal” one of the Listing of Impairments? SSA compiled a list of impairments that are so severe in nature, if the evaluator finds your impairment matching one of the listed impairments along with the description or added criteria, your condition may be found meeting that impairment or equaling in severity. If you meet or equal a medical listing, the evaluation stops here and you would be found medically disabled. If not, we move to the next step.

Step 4.
Can you do your “Past Relevant Work?” This step is very simple to understand. Given your limitations, are you still able to perform work duties of any of your jobs that you considerably held in the last 15 years? If the answer is yes, you will be found with the ability to return back to one of your past jobs. If you cannot perform your past work, depending on specific vocational factors, you may be found medically disabled. However, the evaluator still may proceed to the next step.

Step 5.
Can you do any other type of work? Again, based on your limitations including your age, education, past work experience, and transferability of skills, the evaluator will determine if the requirements of other occupations would be appropriate for such an individual with your condition. If you cannot perform no other work activities of any occupation, you would be found disabled.