The Five Step Sequential Evaluation Process If You Are Already Receiving Disability Benefits

If you are already receiving disability benefits, Social Security will use a different sequential evaluation process to decide whether you continue to be disabled.

Social Security explains this process in §404.1594(f).

(a) If you are working.

If you are working and the work you are doing is substantial gainful activity, Social Security will find that you are not disabled regardless of your medical condition or your age, education, and work experience.

(b) You must have a severe impairment.

If you do not have any impairment or combination of impairments which significantly limits your physical or mental ability to do basic work activities, Social Security will find that you do not have a severe impairment and are, therefore, not disabled. Social Security will not consider your age, education, and work experience. However, it is possible for you to have a period of disability for a time in the past even though you do not now have a severe impairment.

(c) When your impairment(s) meets or equals a listed impairment in appendix 1.

If you have an impairment(s) which meets the duration requirement and is listed in appendix 1 or is equal to a listed impairment(s), Social Security will find you disabled without considering your age, education, and work experience.

(d) When your impairment(s) does not meet or equal a listed impairment.

If your impairment(s) does not meet or equal a listed impairment, Social Security will assess and make a finding about your residual functional capacity based on all the relevant medical and other evidence in your case record, as explained in §404.1545. (See paragraph (f)(2) of this post below and §404.1562 for an exception to this rule.)

Social Security uses its residual functional capacity assessment at the fourth step of the sequential evaluation process to determine if you can do your past relevant work (paragraph (e) below) and at the fifth step of the sequential evaluation process (if the evaluation proceeds to this step) to determine if you can adjust to other work (paragraph (f) of this section).

(e) Your impairment(s) must prevent you from doing your past relevant work.

If Social Security cannot make a determination or decision at the first three steps of the sequential evaluation process, Social Security will compare its residual functional capacity assessment, which it made under paragraph (d) of this section, with the physical and mental demands of your past relevant work. (See §404.1560(b).) If you can still do this kind of work, Social Security will find that you are not disabled.

(f) Your impairment(s) must prevent you from making an adjustment to any other work.

(1) If Social Security finds that you cannot do your past relevant work because you have a severe impairment(s) (or you do not have any past relevant work), Social Security will consider the same residual functional capacity assessment it made under paragraph (d) of this section, together with your vocational factors (your age, education, and work experience) to determine if you can make an adjustment to other work. (See §404.1560(c).) If you can make an adjustment to other work, Social Security will find you not disabled. If you cannot, Social Security will find you disabled.

(2) Social Security uses different rules if you meet one of the two special medical-vocational profiles described in §404.1562. If you meet one of those profiles, Social Security will find that you cannot make an adjustment to other work, and that you are disabled.

Be the first to comment!
Post a Comment