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Are There Any Exceptions To The Five Step Sequential Evaluation Process?

As previously discussed, the five step process establishes two "routes" for a finding of disability. For example, one way to be found disabled by the SSA is if one has a purely medical disability that meets a medical disability in the Listing of Impairments. If that is the case, then that person is automatically disabled. The other step involves determining whether there is a combination of medical and vocational factors that qualifies within the Medical-Vocational Guidelines.
However, there are some exceptions. One exception involves a person who (1) has a severe, medically determinable impairment; (2) is age 55 or older; (3) has an 11th grade education or less; and (4) has no past relevant work experience. 20 C.F.R. Section 404.1562(b).
Another exception that is not commonly known is the " worn-out worker" rule. This is a claimant who has no more than a marginal education (as described in section 404.1564), work experience of 35 years or more doing "arduous unskilled physical labor," and is no longer working and not able to work because of a severe impairment. 20 C.F.R. section 404.1520(g)(2) and 404.1562(a). [Note: in many situations this rule is not used because the same result will be met by using the Medical-Vocational Guidelines. However, it is important rule because this type of worker will be found disabled at the medium exertion level.] Also, Ruling 82-63 states that this is a pre-grid rule.
Finally, according to POMS DI 25010.001 B.3, a disability exception has been made for persons who (1) are not working at SGA level, (2) have a lifetime commitment (30 years or more) to a field of work that is unskilled (or is skilled with no transferable skills), closing approaching retirement age, and have no more than a limited education.
Contact a Dallas Social Security Disability lawyer today.