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Ways that the Social Security Administration Assesses Your Physical Capabilities

social security

Being unable to work is one of the most stressful and upsetting things that can happen in your life. Many people thrive on their careers and being able to provide for themselves and their family. Not being able to do so can be difficult to handle. If you ever find yourself unable to work because of a disability or other physical limitation, you may need to file for Social Security disability benefits just to get by. If so, do you know how the Social Security Administration (SSA) assesses your physical capabilities? Let’s take a look at how the SSA evaluates workers and their ability to work.

Request to Complete a Survey

For starters, the SSA will request that you complete a survey as the agency begins its evaluation of your ability to work. The survey, known as the Activities of Daily Living, will record whether or not you can perform any of the following:

  • Going on vacation
  • Pumping gas
  • Being able to maintain continence
  • Cooking for yourself
  • Dressing yourself
  • Conducting personal hygiene tasks (washing your hands, brushing your teeth, taking a shower or bath)
  • Performing household chores (vacuuming, dusting, doing laundry, etc.)
  • Going grocery shopping
  • Interacting at social outings with family and friends
  • Still taking part in hobbies from before your injury
  • Being able to move yourself from a seated to standing position and back again

What is Considered Disabled by the SSA?

The SSA considers someone to be disabled if they meet any of the following criteria:

  • The person is unable to perform the work they performed prior to their disability;
  • The agency determines you are unable to make an adjustment to other work because of your medical condition;
  • The disability you have is expected to last for at least one year or result in your death;

Benefits are not paid by the SSA to those who suffer from short-term disability or for partial disability.

Questions SSA Asks to Determine Disability

The questions that the SSA will ask you to determine whether or not you are disabled include the following:

  • Are you working? If you are working this year and you average more than $1,220 per month in earnings, you are not considered disabled. If it’s determined that you are not working, your application for benefits will be forwarded to the Disability Determination Services office.
  • Is the condition you have severe? The condition from which you suffer must severely limit your ability to conduct normal work tasks. These include lifting, moving, sitting, standing, walking and memory. The condition must cause issues with these tasks for no less than 12 months.
  • Is the condition you have found in the SSA’s disabling conditions list? Now that you have moved to question number three, you need to determine if the condition you have is found in the disabling conditions list created by the SSA. If the condition cannot be found on the SSA list, the agency will have to determine if it is as severe as any of the other conditions found on the list. If the agency determines it to be as severe as another condition listed, you will be declared disabled. If not, you will move to question four.
  • Are you able to perform the work you previously held? The SSA will examine your ability or inability to perform the work you previously held. If you cannot perform this work, you will need to move to the fifth question assessed by the SSA. If you can perform the work, you will not be declared disabled.
  • Do you have the ability to perform any other type of work? The SSA will now look to find other type of work you might be able to perform if you cannot perform your previous work. The SSA will take into account your physical condition, age, prior work history, education, and skills that can transfer to a new job. If suitable work cannot be found that you can perform, the SSA will declare you disabled.

Contact an Experienced SSD Lawyer Today

Have you suffered an injury or disability that prevents you from working? Do you need to file for Social Security disability benefits? Have you been denied benefits? It’s important that you consult with an experienced SSD lawyer in Alabama. Call the office of Walton Law, LLC today at 251-455-5819 to schedule an appointment about your case.

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