Being denied social security is unfortunately common. Our Pennsylvania Social Security appeal attorneys have been through the Social Security appeal process numerous times, we can guide you through this process and help get you the benefits you deserve.

Once the appeal is filed, we will request a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) and get a hearing as soon as possible; unfortunately, the appeal process can take from 12 to 18 months depending on the quantity of pending appeals at your local office.

The Social Security Administration has established a Five-Step Evaluation process to determine whether a person is disabled. If a person fails to meet the requirements of any one step, they are determined to be “not disabled” under the Social Security Act.

Steps:

  1. Known as the “substantial gainful activity” step, requires the ALJ to determine if a claimant engages in significant mental or physical activity that is done for pay or profit. The Social Security Act requires that claimants either have not worked in at least the previous 12 months or have a disability that is expected to last beyond 12 months.
  2. Known as the “Severe Impairment” step, requires the ALJ to determine if the claimant has a medical condition that is “severe” or a combination of impairments that are “severe.” “Severe” is defined as an impairment that significantly limits an individual’s ability to perform basic work activities.
  3. Known as the “Meets or Equals” step, requires the ALJ to determine whether the claimant’s impairments or combination of impairments meets or equals the criteria of an impairment listed in the Social Security Act-if it does the claimant is disabled-if not the analysis proceeds to the next step. Before getting to Step 4, the ALJ must determine the claimant’s Residual Functional Capacity, or a claimants ability to do physical and mental work activities on an ongoing basis despite the limitations from the impairments discussed in previous steps. At this step the ALJ considers all impairments-not only those that are “severe.”
  4. Known as the “Past Relevant Work” step, requires the ALJ to determine whether the claimant has the residual functional capacity (described above) to perform the demands of his or her past relevant work, or work they have done in the prior 15 years-if they can they are not disabled, if not the analysis proceeds to the next and final step.
  5. Known as the “Any Work” step, requires the ALJ to determine whether the claimant is able to do any other work considering the residual functional capacity, age, education and work experience. If the claimant is able to do other work, he or she is not disabled. If not able to do other work the claimant is disabled.

The Social Security Appeal process is very complex and if you don’t know the ins and outs of the process it could hurt your case. Please, call our Pennsylvania social security appeal lawyers toll free 1-800-444-509 for a free consultation.