Overview of Disability

Disability Back Pay

Disability Requirements

Disability Applications

Disability Advice Tips

How long do cases take?

How to win Disability

SSD Mistakes to avoid

Disability for Mental

What if you get denied?

How to file Appeals

Disability through SSA

SSI Disability Benefits

Disability for Children

How do I qualify for it?

Working and Disability

Disability Award Notice

Disability Lawyer Q&A

Disability Conditions List

What is a disability?

Your Medical Evidence

Filing for your Disability

Disability Eligibility

SSD SSI Definitions

Recent Questions

SSDRC Disability Blog

Is Receiving Social Security Disability Based On Whether I Can Do My Current or Last Job?

Yes, Social Security disability is based on whether you can do your current or last job as well as any other kind of substantial work activity. Social Security uses a five-step sequential evaluation process that addresses work in step one and also in steps four and five.

Step one of the sequential disability process deals with the performance of SGA level work activity. If you are working and earning more than the monthly SGA amount with no employer subsidy (special help or conditions provided by your employer to enable you to keep your job), your Social Security disability claim will be denied. If you are performing SGA-level work activity, your Social Security disability claim will be denied even if your disabling condition is terminal.

If you are not working or performing SGA at a current job, you may be eligible to receive Social Security disability if you are able to complete the rest of the sequential evaluation process.

If you have not been found disabled through step three of the sequential evaluation process, your past work or jobs will become relevant for steps four and five of the process. In step four, a disability examiner must review the relevant jobs that you have performed in the past fifteen years.

A relevant job is any job you performed in the last fifteen years that lasted at least three months, in which your earnings were above the SGA level, and for which you had time to learn the duties of the job.

If the disability examiner determines that you are unable to do any of your past relevant work, considering the limitations caused by your disabling impairment, they still must move on to step five of the sequential evaluation process.

Step five involves a determination as to whether or not you can do any other kind of work in the general economy. Disability examiners must consider your age, education, the transferability of your job skills, and your residual functional capacity (what you are capable of doing in spite if your limitations) to determine if you are able to do any other kind of work.

You will only be able to receive Social Security disability benefits if the disability examiner finds you to be unable to do any of your past work or any other kind of work.

Return to:  Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions

Related pages:

Will Social Security Decide That I can go Back to My Old Job?
Can You Apply For Disability Benefits When You Lose Your Job?
Social Security Disability and the Job that You Worked
Will You Get Social Security Disability Benefits If You Cannot Work Your Old Job?
Is Receiving Social Security Disability Based On Whether I Can Do My Current or Last Job?
Does social security contact your former work employers when you file for disability?

Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions and in these subsections:

Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits | FAQ on Disability Claim Representation | Info about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | FAQ on Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The SSD SSI Decision Process and what gets taken into consideration | Disability hearings before Judges | Medical exams for disability claims | Applying for Disability in various states | Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers | Applying for Disability in North Carolina | Recent articles and answers to questions about SSD and SSI

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

Filing for disability - How to file for SSD or SSI and the Information that is needed by Social Security
How to Apply for Disability - What medical conditions can you apply and qualify for?
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?
How to Prove you are disabled and qualify to win disability benefits
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition or impairment?
Social Security Disability Back pay and How Long it Takes to Qualify for it and receive it
Social Security Disability SSI - Eligibility Requirements and Qualifications Criteria