To decide whether you are disabled, the Social Security Administration uses a step-by-step process involving five questions. They are:
1. Are you working?
If you are working in 2012 and your earnings average more than $1,010 a month, you generally cannot be considered disabled. If you are not working, the SSA moves to Step 2.
2. Is your condition “severe”?
Your condition must interfere with basic work-related activities for your claim to be considered. If it does not, the SSA will find that you are not disabled. If your condition does interfere with basic work-related activities, the SSA then moves to Step 3.
3. Is your condition found in the list of disabling conditions?
For each of the major body systems, the SSA maintains a list of medical conditions that are so severe they automatically mean that you are disabled. If your condition is not on the list, the SSA has to decide if it is of equal severity to a medical condition that is on the list. If it is, the SSA will find that you are disabled. If it is not, the SSA then will go to Step 4.
4. Can you do the work you did previously?
If your condition is severe but not at the same or equal level of severity as a medical condition on the list, then the SSA must determine if it interferes with your ability to do the work you did previously (during the last 15 years). If it does not, your claim will be denied. If it does, the SSA will proceed to Step 5.
5. Can you do any other type of work?
If you cannot do the work you did in the past, the SSA will see if you are able to adjust to other work. The Social Security Administration will consider your medical conditions and your age, education, past work experience and any transferable skills you may have. If you cannot adjust to other work, your claim will be approved. If you can adjust to other work, your claim will be denied.
At Ramos Law, we know how to use Social Security Disability laws to win benefits for our clients. Not only do we know how to use the law to your advantage, we win more for you because we put our heart into what we do.
Our office represents Social Security claimants throughout both states and has offices in Hartford, CT and Springfield, MA.
For a free consultation with a Connecticut or Massachusetts Social Security Lawyer, you can contact us or call toll free (855) 946-7266.