How to file for disability, Filing for SSI
Disability Requirements, Disability Status
How long is the wait?, Disability Application
The Social Security List of Impairments
Qualifying for Disability, Mental Disability
Disability Lawyer Info, Disability Back Pay

What Does It Mean If you Are Denied For Disability Because You can do Other Work?

Social Security uses an evaluation process for disability claims that is sequential in nature and it involves:

1. An evaluation of your medical impairment or impairments and their severity

2. How they prevent you from performing at any of your past work or how they prevent you from doing any other kind of work that you might be qualified to do when your age, education, work skills, and residual functional capacity are considered.

The sequential evaluation process involves five steps and you may be found eligible for benefits from the third step through the fifth step. The first step is just a determination as to whether you are working and if the work you are doing is substantial gainful activity.

Substantial gainful activity is simply a monthly earnings amount determined by Social Security to be self-supporting and each year the amount changes. If you are not working, or you working under the SGA limit, then the disability examiner must move to step number two.

The second step simply involves a determination as to whether or not you have a medically determinable mental or physical condition. Disability examiners establish this through your medical records, or through examinations performed by physicians or mental health professionals who are paid by Social Security to provide a status of your medical condition.

If the disability examiner determines that you do have a disabling condition, they must determine the severity of the condition and how it limits your ability to perform SGA.

Step three: does the claimant have an an impairment that meets or equals a "listing". Social Security has an impairment-listing book that involves impairments of all human body systems. The impairment listings themselves contain the specific criteria and limitations needed to meet the severity requirements of Social Security Disability.

Meaning, if you meet or equal the impairment listing that addresses your medical or mental condition, you may be approved for disability. Disability examiners only proceed to steps four and five if you do not have an impairment that meets or equals the severity requirements of an impairment listing.

Step four specifically addresses your ability to perform any of your past work when your residual functional capacity is considered. Past work for the purposes of Social Security Disability evaluations includes any job that you have performed in the past 15 years for which you earned SGA and that you worked at for three months or more. If the disability examiner determines that you can do a past job, your disability claim will be denied at this level.

However, if they determine that you are unable to do any of your past work, they must consider "other work".

Step five is the final step of the sequential evaluation process and it involves a determination as to whether or not you are able to perform other types of work (work you have never performed) when your education, age, residual functional capacity (what you are able to do in spite of the limitations imposed upon you by your disabling condition), and the transferability of your job skills are considered.

If they determine you are able to perform some other type of work, your disability claim will be denied. Of course, if they determine that you are not able to do any other type of work, your disability claim will be approved through a medical vocational disability allowance.

Essential Questions

What is the Social Security Disability SSI list of impairments?

Can you work while getting or applying for Disability?

How Often Does Social Security Approve Disability The First Time You Apply?

Tips for getting Social Security Disability or SSI benefits approved

What medical conditions will get you approved for disability?

What kind of Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?

Receiving a Disability Award Letter

Conditions Social Security will recognize as a disability

Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI

Applying for disability in your state

Most popular topics on SSDRC.com

Social Security Disability SSI Questions

The listings, list of disabling impairments

Can a mental illness qualify you for disability?

Disability Lawyers prevent unnecessary denials

How much Social Security Disability SSI back pay?

How to apply for disability for a child or children

Filing a Social Security Disability SSI application

Filing for disability - when to file

How to apply for disability - where to apply

Qualifications for disability benefits

How to Prove you are disabled and Win your Disability Benefits

Qualifying for Disability - The Process

How to get disability for depression

Getting disability for fibromyalgia

SSI disability for children with ADHD

What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?

Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability

Social Security Disability SSI Exam tips

More Social Security Disability SSI Questions

Social Security Disability SSI definitions

What makes you eligible for Social Security Disability or SSI?

New and featured pages on SSDRC.com

Who can help me file for disability?

Related pages:

How long does a Social Security Disability judge have to make a ruling?
Denial by an ALJ at a Disability Hearing
How long does it take a disability judge to make a decision?
If I Get Denied Twice For SSD or SSI Disability, What Do I Do?
What Are The Reasons For Social Security Disability Cases Being Denied?
What happens if you get denied for Social Security Disability three times?
Why Will A Social Security Disability Application Get Denied?
How Many Times Will Social Security Disability Deny You before You Get Approved for Disability?
Can You Avoid Being Denied on a Social Security Disability or SSI Claim?
What happens if a reconsideration for Social Security Disability or SSI is denied?
What should be done if your disability is denied?
How do you appeal if you are denied for Social Security Disability or SSI?
Should you get Help from a Disability Attorney before the Claim has been Denied?
Applying for disability in Illinois
Disability Lawyers in Illinois
Will I qualify for disability Benefits in Illinois?

These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.

Can you get temporary Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?

Permanent Social Security Disability

What is the difference between Social Security Disability and SSI?

Who is eligible for SSI disability?

Can I Be Eligible For SSI And Social Security Disability At The Same Time?

What makes a person eligible to receive disability benefits?

Applying for Disability - How long does it take to get Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?

What happens if I file a disability application and it is denied by a disability examiner or Judge?

For the sake of clarity, SSDRC.com is not the Social Security Administration, nor is it associated or affiliated with SSA. This site is a personal, private website that is published, edited, and maintained by former caseworker and former disability claims examiner, Tim Moore, who was interviewed by the New York Times on the topic of Social Security Disability and SSI benefits in an article entitled "The Disability Mess" and also by the Los Angeles Times on the subject of political attempts to weaken the Social Security Disability system.

The goal of the site is to provide information about how Social Security Disability and SSI work, the idea being that qualified information may help claimants pursue their claims and appeals, potentially avoiding time-consuming mistakes. If you find the information on this site helpful and believe it would be helpful to others, feel free to share links to its homepage or other pages on website resource pages, blogs, or social media. Copying of this material, however, is prohibited.

To learn more about the author, please visit the SSDRC.com homepage and view the "about this site" link near the bottom of the page.