We issued this report to gather specific information on claimants who were denied Disability Insurance (DI) benefits or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments because of their ability to work.
When a claimant applies for DI or SSI, the Social Security Administration (SSA) uses a 5-Step sequential evaluation process to determine whether the claimant is disabled. At Step 4, SSA considers a claimant’s past relevant work, and, if the claimant is able to perform his/her past relevant work, the claimant would not be considered disabled. At Step 5, SSA considers a claimant’s age, education, and work experience to determine whether the claimant could adjust to other work. If so, SSA does not consider the claimant disabled.
On November 7, 2016, the Senate Committee on the Budget requested specific information on claimants who were denied SSA disability payments because of their ability to work.