Supplemental Security Income

HOW DOES THE SSA DETERMINE DISABILITY? Social Security Administration determines whether a person qualifies for supplemental security incomeThe Social Security Administration utilizes a five step analysis for determining whether an individual is disabled.


1. At step 1, the Social Security Administration must determine whether the claimant is working or engaging in substantial gainful activity (SGA). SGA is defined as work activity that is both substantial and gainful. If an individual engages in SGA, he is not disabled regardless of how severe his physical or mental impairments are. If the individual is not engaged in SGA, the analysis proceeds to the second step.

2. At step 2, the Social Security Administration must determine whether the claimant has a severe impairment. An impairment is considered severe if it significantly limits an individual’s ability to perform basic work activities. If the claimant has a severe impairment or a combination of impairments, the analysis proceeds to the third step.

3. At step 3, Do you have a medical condition which meets or equals a listing? The Social Security Administration maintains a listing of severe impairments or medical conditions that would prevent a person from working regardless of age, education or previous work experience. If your medical condition meets or equals any impairments on this list, the Social Security Administration considers you disabled. If your medical conditions does not meet or equal a listing, you must proceed to the next step.

4. At step 4, the Social Security Administration must determine whether the Claimant can perform his or her past relevant work. An individual does not qualify for social security disability benefits if they are able to perform their past relevant work, which includes any substantial gainful employment which they have performed in the last 15 years. If the claimant is unable to perform his past relevant work, the analysis proceeds to the fifth and final step.

5. At the last step of the sequential process, the Social Security Administration must determine whether the claimant is able to do any other work considering his or her residual functional capacity, age, education and work experience. If the claimant is able to do other work, he or she is not disabled. If the claimant is not able to perform other work, he or she is considered disabled.

If your claim for supplemental security income benefits have been denied, contact the law office of Michael A. Finerty, Attorney at Law, at (918) 687-1155.

“I would happily recommend Michael Finerty Law Office for injury related legal matters, their knowledgeable guidance has allowed me to work swiftly on my workmen’s compensation claim.”

Vern & Dawn Schrader

LocationMichael Finerty Attorney At Law
436 Court Street
Muskogee, Oklahoma 74402-1542

Phone Number918-687-1155

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