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The Sequential Evaluation Process: Step 4

  • Published: June 7, 2011

Return to Step Three.

If your impairment does not meet or equal a listing in Social Security’s Listing of Impairments, you may still be found disabled for Social Security disability purposes if you satisfy Steps 4 and 5 in the sequential evaluation process. In this article, Ocala disability lawyer CJ Henry will examine Step 4, which looks at your ability to perform past relevant work.

Step 4: Are You Still Able to Perform Past Relevant Work?

If the Social Security Administration finds that you’re still able to perform “past relevant work,” it will find you not disabled. Thus, in order to satisfy this step, you must establish that you cannot do any of the work that you performed in the past 15 years (or 15 years before your disability insured status was established, whichever is earlier). This past relevant work must been done at the “substantial gainful activity” level and have lasted for a duration long enough for you to learn how to do the work. To establish that you can’t do past relevant work, you should pinpoint the easiest job you did in the past 15 years and figure out why you can’t perform even that job.

You will be found not disabled if:

  • You can still do the easiest job you did in the past 15 years;
  • You are still able to do a “job that is ordinarily done,” even if your past job actually involved more physical exertion than this standard and you can’t perform your actual past job; or
  • You can do your actual job requirements, if your actual past work is easier than the job that is ordinarily done.

The Social Security Administration will make this determination by weighing your current residual functional capacity (RFC) with what is physically and mentally required in your past relevant work.

If the Social Security Administration finds that you are not able to perform past relevant work, it will continue its evaluation by proceeding to the final level, Step 5.

If you’ve been denied Social Security disability benefits, the help of an experienced Ocala disability lawyer can drastically increase your chances of winning benefits upon appeal. Contact dedicated Ocala disability lawyer CJ Henry today for a free evaluation of your claim.

Continue to Step Five.

Claudeth Henry

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