BASIC (08-00)

DI 24001.015 SGA and the Sequential Evaluation Process

A. Definition

Disability means inability to engage in any SGA by reason of any medically determinable physical and/or mental impairment which can be expected to result in death, or has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months.

To meet the definition of disability, an individual must have a physical or mental impairment or impairments of such severity that the individual is not only unable to do his or her previous work but cannot, considering his or her age, education, and work experience, engage in any other kind of substantial gainful work which exists in the national economy.

B. Steps of Sequential Evaluation Process

The following evaluation steps shall be followed in the sequence shown, but when a determination that an individual is or is not disabled can be made at any step, evaluation under a subsequent step will be unnecessary. For a complete explanation of the sequential evaluation process, refer to DI 22001.000.

  1. Where an individual is actually engaging in substantial gainful activity, and there is no possibility of a closed period of disability, a finding shall be made that the individual is not under a disability (except in statutory blindness cases).

  2. Where an individual does not have an impairment(s) which significantly limits his or her physical or mental capacity to perform basic work-related functions, a finding shall be made that he or she is not under a disability.

  3. Where an individual's impairment(s) either meets the listings or is determined to be medically the equivalent of a listed impairment, and also meets the duration requirement, a finding of disability shall be made.

  4. Where a determination that an individual is or is not disabled cannot be made based on current work activity or on medical consideration alone, and the individual has a severe impairment(s) which meets the duration requirement, the individual's ability to engage in SGA, either at past relevant work or other work, must be considered:

    1. If the impairment(s) does not prevent the individual from meeting the physical and mental demands of past relevant work, including arduous unskilled physical labor, disability shall not be found to exist.

    2. If an individual cannot perform any past relevant work because of a severe impairment(s), but the individual can make an adjustment to work different from that which has been performed in the past, it shall be determined that the individual is not under a disability.

    3. If the individual cannot make an adjustment to work different from that which has been performed in the past, it shall be determined that the individual is under a disability.


To Link to this section - Use this URL:
http://policy.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0424001015
DI 24001.015 - SGA and the Sequential Evaluation Process - 02/20/2002
Batch run: 01/27/2009
Rev:02/20/2002