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How Does The Social Security Administration Determine Disability?

The Social Security Administration (SSA) provides benefits to individuals who are found to be disabled. It is more complicated than it sounds since SSA has its own definition and five-step evaluation process to determine disability. The process can be very complex and confusing and differs from other disability programs that exist in the United States.

SSA uses a five step evaluation process to determine whether someone is disabled. At West Coast Disability Legal Center, in Long Beach, our lawyers will help you navigate this complicated process. Our attorneys make sure you are treated fairly by SSA. We also educate you so you understand the process from beginning to end.

Advice From Experienced Attorneys, Not Inexperienced "Representatives"

When you are going through the disability benefits process, you want an experienced attorney who will be with you every step of the way. You do not need an inexperienced non-attorney representative who simply sits with you during your hearing. You want a knowledgeable lawyer who will stand up for you and get you the benefits you deserve.

At West Coast Disability Legal Center, we provide our clients with experienced and knowledgeable attorneys. We have represented thousands of people in your exact situation.

Our firm's attorneys provide our clients with legal advice at every step of the process.

Social Security's Five-Step Evaluation Process

  1. Are you working?
    If you are working and earning more than the current substantial gainful activity amount, you cannot be considered disabled.
  2. Is your condition severe?
    Your impairment must be expected to last one year or result in death and must interfere with basic work-related activities.
  3. Is your condition on the list of disabling impairments?
    The Social Security Administration has a list of impairments and requirements for each of the major body systems that are so severe they automatically qualify you for disability. If your condition is not on this list, Social Security must decide if your impairment is "equal" in severity to those on the list. If it is, your claim is approved. If it is not, then SSA goes onto the next step.
  4. Can you do the work you did previously?
    Does your condition prevent you from doing any work that you did in the past 15 years? If it does not, your claim will be denied. If it does, your claim will proceed to the fifth and final step of the evaluation process.
  5. Can you do any other type of work available in the national economy?
    Social Security considers your age, education, work experience and job skills when deciding if you are disabled. If you cannot do any other kind of work, your claim will be approved. If you can work at another job, your claim will be denied.

Contact West Coast Disability Legal Center

To schedule a free consultation with an experienced attorney, please call our toll-free number (800) 459-3017. You can also make an appointment by contacting our firm online.