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The Social Security uses a "FIVE STEP DISABILITY EVALUATION" to decide cases.

Are you working? In other words, do your monthly earnings average more than $1000 in 2010? If so, the claim is denied. If not, go to the next step.
Is the medical condition severe? The claim is denied if there is no more than a "slight" impairment that minimally limits basic work activities (e.g. walking, speaking and lifting).
CourtDo you meet a listing? The listings describe 200 medical conditions deemed to be disabling by regulation.
A. If your condition meets a listing, YOU WIN! Click on for Social Security Online links to the Adult and Childhood Listings of presumptively disabling impairments.
B. What if you do not meet a listing? Do not give up, the process continues. Social Security must now decide if your condition is "equal in severity" to a listing. In other words, a doctor who works for Social Security can decide that your medical condition is just as severe as the conditions on Social Security's list because your limitations cause you problems in working that are the same or worse than those expected from the listed conditions.
C. What if I do not equal a listing? Do not give up. Social Security must now go to Step Four.
Can past work be done? SSA will deny the claim if the worker is able to perform jobs performed in the past 15 years. If Social Security says you are not able to do any of your past jobs, then the process continues to step five.
Is other work possible? If you are unable to perform your past work, and the work that other people do based upon your age, education and work experience, you win.

5 Step Evaluation

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