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Disability Evaluations: Steps 4 and 5

If you are not found disabled at step three of the Sequential Evaluation Process, your claim will move on to Steps 4 and 5, which your Rockville Social Security disability attorney can explain to you.

Step 4: Past Relevant Work

This question asks whether you are able to do any of your "past relevant work," which is essentially any of the jobs that you have had in the last 15 years; or, if you already have disability status, 15 years before that requirement was last met. If you are found to be able to do any of those jobs, you will be found not disabled and your claim will be denied.

Note that to count as "past relevant work," your job must have been significant enough to be "substantial gainful activity" and you must have held the job for enough time to be able to actually perform it. Something you did for a day doing insignificant tasks to help out a friend will probably not count as "past relevant work." Essentially you and your Rockville Social Security disability lawyer should determine what the easiest job you have held is, and ask yourself whether you are still able to do that kind of work.

Note that the test here is whether you can do the job "as it is ordinarily done." This might actually be different from the way you performed the job originally, especially if it was years ago and there have been advances or changes in workflow or procedure since then. If you would be unable to do the job as you performed it, but you could do it today because it is now less strenuous, the latter test will be used and you will be found not disabled.

Step 5: Other Work

This step asks whether you are able to adjust to other work that exists in significant numbers in the national economy. This is a very complicated question that takes into account your work experience, education and age and uses them to make a determination as to whether you are disabled.

For more information about whether you might qualify for disability benefits, contact a Rockville Social Security disability attorney. Call Bromberg Rosenthal at 301-251-6200.

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