If you plan to file for disability benefits through the SSA, a Chicago Social Security lawyer can explain the fairly complex “sequential evaluation process” the SSA uses to determine disability.

Threshold Requirements

At the outset, your Chicago Social Security lawyer will explain to you that you must have worked and paid a sufficient amount in Social Security taxes throughout your life to qualify for benefits. Additionally, you must meet certain income and asset requirements.

Five-Step Sequential Evaluation Process

Chicago Social Security lawyerYour Chicago Social Security lawyer will outline the five-step evaluation process used in SSA disability claims. These steps include:

  • whether you are engaged in substantial gainful activity;
  • whether you have a severe medically determinable impairment;
  • whether your impairment/disability meets SSA regulations, the “Listing of Impairments”;
  • whether the functions you can still perform keep you from doing past relevant work;
  • whether you can still do other work, taking into account your abilities, age, education, and work experience.

As your Chicago Social Security lawyer will explain, if you do not meet any one of the five steps, your benefit claim will be rejected. Additionally, many of the terms and requirements have particular legal meaning. Your Chicago Social Security attorney will discuss each in detail and review your specific circumstances before you file.

The Duration Requirement

In addition to the above steps, your Chicago Social Security attorney will review with you the duration requirement when it comes to your disability or impairment. The SSA will require that your disability has lasted at least twelve months or be expected to last that long.

As should be apparent, the SSA benefit determination process is fairly rigorous and complex. Put an experienced Chicago Social Security lawyer on your side to help you understand the requirements and represent you every step of the way.

Contact a Chicago Social Security Lawyer Today for Legal Assistance

For more information about whether you will qualify for Social Security disability, contact a Chicago Social Security lawyer. An experienced attorney can navigate you through the claims process and advise you on the best course of action to take. Call us today to schedule a free initial consultation.