The Social Security Administration has developed a 5 step test to determine if you are disabled according to their definition.When a claim is initially filed, it will go through this 5 step evaluation process.
The 5 questions to consider in determining whether or not you are disabled according to the strict definition as set out by the Social Security Administration are as follows:
1. Are you gainfully employed?
2. Is your condition severe? (The condition can be mental or physical or both, either way it interferes with your basic activities at work)
3. Is your condition found in their list of disabling conditions? (You can find these online through the SSA website at:
4. Can you do the work you previously did?
5. Can you do any other type of work?
These factors are a checklist to determine your potential eligibility for Social Security Disability benefits. If you are not working then you proceed to step 2 to determine if your condition interferes with work related activities. If it does not then you are not considered disabled. So, overall, you must pass the first 2 criteria before your claim will be considered.
In summary there are 2 ways to be found disabled under this Social Security Administration checklist:
(1) A finding that the claimant’s impairment meets an impairment described in their listing of impairments; or
(2) A combination of the medical and vocational issues qualifies the claimant for disability.