The Disability Process in Raleigh, NC can be tough. First you need to apply for either DIB or SSI. You must also be found disabled under Social Security’s five step sequential evaluation. The sequential evaluation:
1. Are you working?
The Social Security Administration defines work as “Substantial Gainful Activity” (SGA). SGA is roughly defined as work from earnings that average more than $1,040 a month (2013 for non-blind). If you are making that amount you generally cannot be considered disabled.
2. Is your condition “severe”?
Severe is defined by the Social Security Administration as: your condition must interfere with basic work-related activities.
3. Is your condition found in the list of disabling conditions?
The list of disabling conditions is called the Listings. The Listings are very hard to meet in most cases and not always interpreted as a common reading would suggest. If you meet a listing you are gravely ill. The listings are found here.
4. Can you do the work you did previously?
The Social Security Administration will look at your past work and determine if it was sedentary, light, medium, or heavy. They also will evaluate the skill level: unskilled, semi-skilled and skilled. For instance, an attorney would be sedentary skilled work. If the Social Security Administration finds that you cannot do what you used to do, they then look to see if you can do anything else.
5. Can you do any other type of work?
This is where the “grids” come into play. The grids are the Medical-Vocational Guidelines. The grids are only for exertional impairments. Non-exertional impairments are not considered by the grids. If you are found to be capable of any other work, you will be found not disabled. The grids can be found here. For more information on Step 5 look here.
The Disability Process in Raleigh, NC is complicated. Social Security Disability Attorney Kimberly Bishop is familiar with the process and does not get paid unless you win.