How does the Social Security Administration determine if a person is eligible for social security disability benefits?
One of the things that happens, that’s most common, is that, we see claimants that are approved for social security disability, yet they are denied on their long term disability claim and we wanted to get an understanding of what’s the definition of disability in order to be eligible under social security disability claims. So could you tell us a little bit about what’s required in order to get approved for social security disability benefits?
Sure. Social security has a five part test that determines if a person is eligible for benefits. And that’s called the sequential evaluation. The first part of the test is whether the individual is engaged in a substantial gainful employment. The second part of the test is whether a person has severe impairment as defined by social security. The third part of the test is whether they meet one of the medical listing of impairments. Social security has a medical listing for each impairment and if the person either meets or functionally equals one of those listings, they are considered disabled. Once we get past the third step, we look at vocational considerations. The fourth step is whether a person can do his past job, his past relevant work and the fifth step is, given the person’s age, education, type of work that he used to do in the past – is there another job that exists in significant numbers in the national economy that they can look for?