Sequential Evaluation Process
What does Sequential Evaluation Process mean?
The Sequential Evaluation Process is a five step process the SSA uses to determine if a claimant is eligible for disability benefits. At the first step the Social Security Administration determines if the applicant is doing substantial gainful activity. In 2013, if the claimant is working and earning more than $1,040 a month they will be considered not disabled.
If the claimant is not working the SSA proceeds to step 2 and evaluates the severity of the claimant's condition. If the claimant's condition is severe and interferes with their ability to work they proceed to step 3.
For step 3 the SSA reviews the claimant's conditions and its related symptoms to determine if it meets or exceeds a listing in their SSA listing of Impairments. If a claimant has an impairment(s) that meets or equals the requirements of one of its Listings of Impairment and it will last at least 12 continuous months, they will find the claimant disabled. If not, they will proceed to step 4.
For step 4 the SSA will decide if the claimant has the residual functional capacity to do past relevant work. If they can, they will deny the claim. If they cannot they will proceed to step 5. Under step 5 the SSA determines if the claimant has the ability to retrain for new work. Under this step they will review the claimant's medical conditions, their age, their education, their past work experience and their transferable skills. If the SSA decides the applicant cannot adjust to other work, their claim will be approved.