There are 5 steps one must go through in order to be found disabled.
Step 4, requires a claimant to be found unable to return to any past job he or she performed (at a certain level) within the last 15 years. Step 5 requires that a claimant is unable to even perform any work within the national economy, given his or her impairments.
This is a long time look-back period, one in which could destroy a claimant's chance of being found disabled. This is especially true if a person is over the age of 50.
If a claimant is over the age of 50 and he or she has no past work which would provide for transferable work-skills, then the claimant actually has a better chance of being approved than denied. These chances increase if the claimant is age 55 and older.
However, where the claimant has past work that provides for these transferable work-skills, then the claimant is treated almost as if he or she under the age of 50, and a showing that no other work can be performed in the national economy is required to be found disabled. In other words, for claimants under the age of 50, he or she must be found at less than a sedentary functional capacity, For claimants age 50 and older, with transferable work-skills, requires the same.
So, for example, if a claimant was in management within the last 15 years, he or she would have acquired certain skills that could be transferred to some other kind of work. Such skills would be, again for example, management skills, leadership and organizational skills, computer and clerical skills, etc. If a claimant has some or all of these from his or her past work, then there must be a finding that he or she is unable to even perform sedentary work.
We help claimants throughout Texas and the United States fighting for their Social Security disability rights, if you need us, please feel free to contact us at: (888) 780-9125.