Five-Step Analysis for Minnesota Disability Claims

The Social Security Administration uses a five-step sequential evaluation process to determine if you are disabled:

  1. Are you working? If you are working and your average monthly earnings exceed SGA, the Social Security Administration will likely determine that your earnings are substantial and that you are not disabled.
  2. Is your medical condition “severe”? To be considered “severe,” the condition must significantly limit your ability to do basic work activities (i.e., walking, sitting, remembering, etc.) for at least one year.
  3. Does the severity of your condition meet or equal the severity of a condition on the Listing of Impairments?
  4. If the answer to #3 is “no,” does your medical condition prevent you from doing the work you did before?
  5. If the answer to #4 is “yes,” does your medical condition prevent you from doing any other type of work?

In order to conduct the five-step analysis, the Social Security Administration will review and consider your work history, your medical records, your medications, any applicable laboratory and test results, and the opinion(s) of your treating medical and/or mental health providers. If the information from your treating provider(s) is not sufficient, the Social Security Administration may ask you to attend a consultative examination, a special examination with another provider. The Social Security Administration will pay for the examination.