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Representing the Disabled throughout Wisconsin and Nationwide.

Forward Disability Attorneys are here to help the disabled throughout Wisconsin and nationwide. Located locally in Milwaukee, Glendale, Madison, Appleton, Green Bay and Brookfield. Contact Us today!


  1. United States Social Security Administration:
  2. National Organization of Social Security Claimants Representatives:

The Evaluation Process

You should be familiar with the process Social Security uses to determine if you are disabled. It's a step-by-step process involving five questions, depending on your age. They are:

  1. Are you working? If you are and your earnings average more than $1040 a month, you usually will not be considered disabled.
  2. Is your condition severe? Your impairment must interfere with basic work-related activities for your claim to be considered.
  3. Is your condition found in the list of disabling impairments? Social Security maintains a list of impairments for each of the major body systems. If you suffer from one of these impairments you are automatically determined to be disabled and you do not have to go through steps 4 and 5.
  4. Can you do the work you did previously? If your condition is severe, but not at the same or equal severity as an impairment on the list, then it must be determined if your condition significantly interferes with your ability to do the work you did in the last 15 years. If it does not, your claim will be denied. If it does, your claim will be considered further.
  5. Can you do any other type of work? If you cannot do the work you did in the last 15 years, then Social Security will look to see if you can do any other type of work. Social Security will consider your age, education, past work experience, and transferable skills, and will review the job demands of occupations as determined by the Department of Labor. If you cannot do any other kind of work, your claim will be approved. If you can do other work, your claim will be denied.

Generally, any claim that makes it to step 5 will go to a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge. At this step, Social Security has the burden of proving that other jobs exist in the economy in significant numbers that you can do.