What is Social Security looking for in disability cases?

 Under both Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits and Disability Insurance Benefits (DIB), Social Security (SSA) is trying to determine if an individual meets their criteria for disability. SSA is concerned with a claimant’s diagnosis as well as the effects that a claimant’s medical condition has on his/her ability to work. Note: A diagnosis by itself is not sufficient for a disability determination. However, if a claimant’s limitations from a medical condition are severe enough to preclude any substantial gainful activity (work), the SSA will find you disabled.

For Social Security disability claims involving physical health problems, the DDS examiner will evaluate a claimant’s past work to determine if the claimant is able to return to any past job. If it is determined that the claimant is not capable of returning to past work, the examiner will move on to the next step in the evaluation process to decide if the claimant is capable of doing any other work in the national economy. Other work is a selection of other jobs based on current physical capabilities and past work skills. Past work and other work are a big factor in the disability evaluation process.

The disability examiner will also review the claimant’s physical abilities. For example, If the disability involves degenerative disc disease or arthritis in the upper extremities, the ability to raise one’s arms to shoulder level or higher might be significantly impaired, affecting the ability to use the hands to perform intricate work. Based on a review of the claimant’s medical evidence, the examiner may assess how well the claimant could perform overhead reaching, or dexterous finger movements.

So, what is Social Security looking for in disability cases? recent medical evidence that supports an individual’s claim that they are not capable of working. Additionally, the disability must have lasted or be expected to last for a period of not less than twelve full months. A qualified Social Security lawyer can help you through this trying time and help to guide you through this often frustrating and time- consuming process.

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