social security disability process steps


STEP 3: Is your condition found in the list of disabling impairments? The “Substantial Gainful Activity” Monthly Earnings Amount for 2021 is $1,310. McDonald Law Firm . To start, the Social Security Administration looks at an individual’s work activity. They consider your age, education, past work experience, and transferable skills, and they review the job demands of occupations that were determined by the Department of Labor in a Dictionary that was last updated in 1991. If it is, your claim is approved. Getting the medical evidence delivered directly to the person who is deciding your claim is an important part of the service that we provide to you when you become a client. Social Security Disability is determined through a series of five steps. If the DDS found that the claimant is disabled, SSA completes any outstanding non-disability development, computes the benefit amount, and begins paying benefits. The first step in the Social Security Disability claim process is to file an application for disability benefits. Disability benefits is what we do. Then, the DDS returns the case to the field office for appropriate action. If at any step in the process the SSA’s decision-makers … A Social Security Program Policy Statement talks about whether a person has the ability to engage in SGA. It’s a sequential method, meaning the steps are followed in order. There were times I... Read more », After my first application for disability was denied by Social Security, I called Attorney Roberts, and he started working on my case. At Step 1, the SSA determines whether a claimant is working at the Substantial Gainful Activity level. I recommend Attorney Roberts as thorough, and dedicated to helping the disabled workers he represents. In a perfect world, applying for Social Security disability would be quick and painless, but we don’t live in a perfect world. Once you’re approved there’s a lot less stress. I continued working for many years, even though the disability was severe. If it doesn’t, your claim will be denied. The five steps used in the sequential evaluation process are: Step 1 - Social Security must determine if an individual is working and if they are still working are the working at the SGA limit or over. The Social Security Administration (SSA) uses a five-step Disability determination process to decide whether or not you qualify for benefits. Took a complicated case, followed through and won for us. If your condition doesn’t meet a Blue Book listing, the claims examiner will next evaluate whether it prohibits you from performing past work. Longmeadow, Massachusetts 01106. physical and/or mental impairment must be determined (proved) by medical evidence. © 2020 All Rights Reserved. The law requires the people at Social Security to consider all of the evidence, and all of your impairments, when they make a disability decision. You have nothing to lose but plenty to gain. Social Security Disability 5-Step Qualification Process Philadelphia Area Social Security Disability Qualification Criteria. If it is not on the list, but your ailment is of equal severity to another condition on the list, you will be approved for benefits. What are the Social Security Disability requirements? Call 855-702-9061. (This will open another browser window.) This can be filed at your local Social Security office, over the phone or online. Disability Application Process Initial Application. This means that you have worked and earned money during the time prior to your disability. To answer the 5 questions, Social Security has to review the reports from all of the doctors, hospitals, and clinics that have treated you. If you can, you are not considered disabled and your claim will be denied. Don’t think you can afford an attorney? SSA-16: Social Security Disability Application Form, SSA-3369: Social Security Disability Work History Report, SSA-827: Social Security Disability Medical Release Form, SSA-3441: Social Security Disability Appeal Form, HA-501: Request for Hearing by Administrative Law Judge. The first step in this process is called making your “intent to file.”. Social Security Disability Approval Process Overview. If you are applying for Social Security disability (SSDI) you can apply by phone, mail, on-line or in person. If it is not, we go to the next step. We need to find out about your past work to decide if you can still do it. must have lasted or be expected to last for a continuous period of at least 12 months, or be expected to result in your death. Step 1: Intent to File. Attorney Roberts helped... Read more ». Your best chance of meeting Social Security’s strict criteria is to let an experienced Disability attorney handle your claim. If it does, your claim will be considered further, and we move on to Step 5. It’s what we do. The examiner will consider your condition, age, education, past work experience and any transferable skills you may have. Consider each step in this process in numerical order except where policy specifically permits a deviation. Social Security Disability Reconsideration. 1200 Converse Street Step one is: “Have you worked before and are you working now?” What that means is Social Security requires you to have worked five out of the past 10 years on a regular basis in order to be eligible to even apply for Social Security Disability benefits. However, the Social Security Administration (SSA) denies approximately 65% of all claims filed. Once your application is filed, it will take about four to six months for Social Security to make a decision about your eligibility for benefits. How do you apply for Medicare Disability benefits? Your Lawyer or representative can also file your application. The Social Security Disability claims process can have many steps depending on how many times your claim is rejected and you appeal. There is a “duration requirement” that says your impairment(s) must have lasted or be expected to last for a continuous period of at least 12 months, or be expected to result in your death. I live hundreds of miles away. The disability claims process take you down the path of the 5 evaluation steps. —TD. Suite 230 . I missed a Disability appeal deadline. Listed below are frequently asked questions about Step 4 and Step 5 of the process. Steps to successfully apply for Social Security disability Published Mon, Feb 1 2016 10:05 AM EST Updated Mon, Feb 1 2016 10:05 AM EST Kelli B. I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. At McDonald Law Firm, we will gather the necessary information, prepare a solid claim and submit it on your behalf. STEP 2: Is your condition severe? Call (413) 567-5600 for a free case evaluation. The case managers are on top of their game and know exactly what they are doing. If you cannot do any other kind of work, your claim will be approved. Rarely, … When you apply for Social Security disability benefits, the Social Security Administration (SSA) wants to know whether your medical disorder is severe enough for you to qualify for benefits. Substantial: Work that requires significant physical or mental activities. Today we’re just discu… After an application for disability benefits is made to social security, the case is transferred to the state agency responsible for making disability determinations, DDS. My family member has cognition problems and physical health problems. How long do you have to be disabled before you can get Disability benefits? The Social Security Administration (SSA) uses a five-step Disability determination process to decide whether or not you qualify for benefits. The first thing you need to do is apply for Social Security disability benefits. Each step is a question geared to determine the significance and measure of your impairment, as it affects your ability to work full time. The decision combines your medical records and your work history with Social Security’s complex regulations and policies. When a claim is initially filed for Social Security disability benefits the Social Security Administration (SSA) will apply a sequential evaluation that consists of five steps. I have DDS which is Dissolving Disc Disease in my lower lumbar and I have had spinal surgery for that; I’ve had surgery on my leg as well and I had hip surgery. This can be done by beginning an application for disability benefits on SSA.org or by visiting your local Social Security Administration Office for an application. Your impairments must interfere with basic work-related activities for you to be considered disabled. The 5 Stages of the Social Security Disability Process. One less thing to do and I can concentrate on getting myself better. Grant @KelliGrant.money @kelligrant STEP 4: Can you do the work you did previously? When you start the SSI application process, there are three ways to file your claim with the Social Security Administration. The disability decision may be made with a denial of your claim at Step 1, 2, or 5, or an award of benefits at step 3 or step 5. Don’t take Early Retirement if you are disabled. If your disability is described in the listing, that automatically means you are disabled. The Social Security office will then send your file to be reviewed for approval or denial based on the information provided in your initial appl… Instead, applying for Social Security disability can be confusing, time consuming and most definitely frustrating. If you are working, and your earnings averaged more than $1,260 per month last year (during the year 2020), that is considered Substantial Gainful Activity, and Social Security probably won’t consider you to be disabled. Ready to apply? It’s a sequential method, meaning the steps are followed in order. Social Security Regulations explain “substantial gainful activity” and whether work activity is not gainful activity, or is done under special conditions or is an unsuccessful work attempt. We know how to cut through the red tape to help get the benefits you need. You may obtain applications from your local social security office, or by visiting the disability section of the Social Security Administration website. The federal government pays us when the case is over – and only if we win. If you can’t adjust to any other work, your claim will be approved. In part 2 of our six-part blog series, we gave an overview of Step 1 of the Sequential Evaluation Process used by the Social Security Administration in determining eligibility for benefits under the Social Security Act. It is important to keep in mind that 80% of people are denied during the initial claim level, therefore, it is encouraged to continue on in the Social Security appeals process. The first step, once you decide that you are going to apply for Social Security Disability, is to obtain and review the Adult Disability Starter Kit. When your first apply for disability benefits, you complete an Initial application. If your condition is not on the list or doesn’t meet the SSA’s criteria, the Disability claims examiner goes to Step 4. Applications are taken at the local Social Security Administration offices. Social Security definition of disability and the five-step process An attorney can help to explain the somewhat complex law and procedure that govern your application for SSDI or … If your condition is not on the list, Social Security has to decide if it is of equal severity to an impairment on the list. Overall, there are five stages, each with its own format, rules, and decision makers. Your disability decision will be made properly as soon as Social Security gets the evidence it needs to answer all 5 questions in your favor. SGA or substantial gainful activity is a monetary amount of earnings the Social Security sets each year as a self-supporting wage amount. Use the five-step sequential evaluation process detailed in DI 22001.001D in this section to determine if a claimant is entitled to disability benefits. I contacted Attorney Roberts, and he organized the Social Security case for us. They may request medical evidence or other additional information. 1. Review All 4 Steps in the SSI Application Process Step 1: Initiating Your Claim. During the initial stage you will submit your application to the SSA along with all of your medical evidence and supporting documentation outlined in the Blue Book . FIVE Steps to Your Social Security Disability Determination 1. If it doesn’t (meaning you can still work at one of your old jobs), your claim will be denied. Social Security must look at the combined effects of every impairment. I have a close family member who lives in Attorney Roberts area. If you are in need of an SSDI attorney at any crucial step of the social security disability process, please contact Linay Haubert R.N., Esq of the Doylestown office of High Swartz law firm at 215-345-8888. But all five steps may not be needed in your case. The treatment of my condition by a medical specialist had been interrupted, because I didn’t have health insurance. Let us handle the Disability process for you. If at any step in the process the SSA’s decision-makers decide you are disabled ― or not ― the evaluation ends. Ensuring these steps are conducted properly and quickly will ensure your benefits are received as quickly as possible. I will explain to Social Security how the combined effects of your impairments prevent you from working. Fort Worth Texas 76107, Disclaimer, Privacy Policy, Site Terms & SMS Opt-In, Surprising Mental Health Facts That’ll Get Your Attention. They may also ask that you see one of their doctors. ... these require extra work on Social Security’s behalf, and so the process tends to take longer; ... Find out if you qualify for Social Security Disability benefits now. Step 1: When to Apply for Social Security Disability. The disability claims process take you down the path of the 5 evaluation steps. We file Disability claims every day. The initial stage of the Social Security Disability process involves the initial filing of your Social Security Disability application and the Social Security Administration's review of your initial claim. Based on these findings, an individual may or may not pass the first step of the approval process. Most Social Security disability claims are initially processed through a network of local Social Security Administration (SSA) field offices and State agencies (usually called Disability Determination Services or DDSs). But all five steps may not be needed in your case. If we aren’t successful, we don’t collect. If the claims examiner agrees that your condition prohibits you from working past jobs, he or she will next consider whether you can adjust any other type of work. Now what? What medical conditions qualify for Social Security Disability? In 2016, 10.6 million Americans collected over $142 billion in government Social Security disability benefits. Your first option is simply picking up the phone and calling the SSA office. I had already been denied twice and this was going to be my 3rd time. If the determination is made that you can adjust to other work, your claim will be denied. SSA evaluates income and time at work to see if earnings average more or less than the established Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) amount. If it has been more than five years since you stopped working, you will not be entitled to Social Security Disability Insurance and will instead have to apply for Supplemental Security Income. The Social Security Disability application process begins when an application is received by an applicant’s local Social Security Administration (SSA) field office. If your claim for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits has been denied, or if you are simply considering filing for benefits, it is crucial to have experienced legal counsel at your side. When I could no longer work, I applied for Social Security Disability, but my application was denied. The difference is a conversation for another day. These 5 evaluation steps are about you, your work history, and your disability. See every step in the application process and claim review timeline below. McDonald Law Firm has helped me when I needed it most. Steps in the SSD Process Sacramento Social Security Disability Appeal Lawyer. Attorney Roberts explained how I could get health insurance coverage, so I could go back... Read more », ATTORNEY JOHN L. ROBERTS The first step of the appeal process is the reconsideration level. Social Security has a listing of impairments for each of the major body systems. To decide whether you are disabled, we use a five-step process. Disability Hearing before an Administrative Law Judge, Requesting a Social Security Appeals Council Review. During the third step of the Disability Determination process, the claims examiner will refer to an impairment listing manual ― called the Blue Book ― that contains more than 100 physical and mental conditions that qualify for Disability as long as certain criteria are met. Here are the steps for how your claim will be decided by Social security. The judge told us the medical records were complete and my claim was allowed. Social Security averages your income when determining Substantial Gainful Activity. If it does, the claims examiner moves to Step 3. I called Attorney Roberts. The process is used for both SSI and SSDI, and everyone gets the same consideration. This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged. The disability decision may be made with a denial of your claim at Step 1, 2, or 5, or an award of benefits at step 3 or step 5. If you cannot do the work you did in the last 15 years, Social Security looks to see if you can do any other type of work. These 5 evaluation steps are about you, your work history, and your disability. After completing its development of the evidence, trained staff at the DDS makes the initial disability determination. If the claims examiner finds you can’t do any past work, they move to Step 5. Your claim will be denied. It’s that simple. We only get paid if we are successful and our fee is paid directly by the Social Security Administration out of a portion of the back pay award when the case is over. Next, a Disability claims examiner will evaluate your case to determine if your impairment interferes with basic work-related activities, such as walking, standing, lifting, pushing, carrying, or speaking. The kit contains a: Factsheet - The factsheet includes the definition of disability and answers questions about applying for disability benefits. The first four stages are within the Social Security Administration, and the last stage is independent of Social Security. To determine this, the SSA will send your file to the Disability Determination Service (DDS) agency in your state for a medical review. Call 855-702-9061. I worked with Attorney Roberts on a case involving what is often described as an “invisible disability.” The Claimant was severely impaired, but the disability was not understood or believed by the Social Security personnel who reviewed the written treatment records, and the Claimant’s testimony. If you are not working or make less than $1,130 per month, Social Security’s decision-makers go to Step 2 of the Disability Determination process. Need help filling out your Disability application? 3100 West 7th Street . He or she will compare the requirements of your past jobs with your current limitations to determine if you can return to a prior line of work. If for some reason your claim gets denied, we will take it to the next level and appeal the decision. Assuming you meet the qualification requirements and you indeed do have a severe enough disability, the next step in the process is to actually fill out an application for benefits. Think again. The person who decides your claim must use the logic of a doctor, a lawyer, and a rehabilitation counselor to decide if you are eligible for benefits. Best of all, our services will not contribute to your financial hardship. ALJ Hearings in Springfield, Massachusetts and Hartford, Connecticut, Appeals Council Review of Disability Claims Denial by an Administrative Law Judge, Appealing An Unfavorable Social Security Decision To Federal Court. Call 855-702-9061. For a free Social Security Disability case evaluation. If you’re still working when you apply for Social Security disability, the SSA will automatically reject your claim. The Social Security Administration (SSA) uses a five-step sequential evaluation process to evaluate Social Security disability applications and determine whether the claimant is entitled to receive disability benefits. If, at any point during the evaluation, you are found not to be disabled, the process will terminate and your claim for disability … If your condition is severe, but not at the same or equal severity as an impairment on the list, then Social Security must determine if your disability interferes with your ability to do the work you did during the last 15 years. (The amount fluctuates each year.) In this stage of the process you will be filling out your initial application and providing the SSA with the documentation necessary to process your claim for Social Security Disability benefits. He prepared a summary of all my treatment records going back many years, and he obtained a report from my doctor that... Read more ». It was horrible! STEP ONE: Are you performing substantial gainful activity (working)? Springfield, Massachusetts Social Security Disability This site uses cookies to enhance your experience, to display customized content in accordance with your browser settings, and to help us better understand how you use our website. Because the claims examiner is primarily basing their decision on information in your application and medical records, it’s not uncommon for claims to get denied due to mistakes, omissions or incomplete information. whether a person has the ability to engage in SGA. Call us today at 855-702-9061 or just fill out the contact form on this page. What does “substantial gainful activity” (SGA) mean? equal severity to an impairment on the list. If your condition is on the list and meets the criteria, you will be awarded benefits. STEP 1: Are you working? Here are the five steps: First, the SSA will check to see if you are working. Your physical and/or mental impairment must be determined (proved) by medical evidence. You'll never pay anything up-front. Links to Listings. By continuing to browse or by closing this banner, you indicate your agreement. As you can see, the SSA’s Disability evaluation process can be complicated. We know what the SSA is looking for and how to present the information in a way that will most benefit you. The field office is responsible for verifying any non-medical eligibility requirements, such as marital status, age, address, employment, or Social Security coverage information. Information about any medication you are taking is also important. “Substantial Gainful Activity” Monthly Earnings Amount. If you are working and you make more than a certain amount ($1,130 per month in 2016), then the SSA will determine you can engage in “substantial gainful activity” (SGA). The field office then sends the case to a DDS for evaluation of disability. STEP 5: Can you do any other type of work? 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