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    I got in touch with Ms. Flynn around October 2011. Ms. Flynn had a pretty nice firm, and it didn't take long to win once I got in touch with her; she was fast. I was homeless at the time. All I had to do was call her, and the firm did everything else. They are a wonderful firm. I have recommended the firm to several people, and I have not had any complaints. The firm does wonderful work.

    — Carol Sellers
  • RSS New on Our Blog

    • During the Covid-19 pandemic, the Social Security Administration is not acting on the following cases: June 22, 2020
      During the Covid-19 pandemic from April 10, 2020 until further notice, SSA is NOT acting on the following cases based upon NOSSCR’s June 2020 newsletter. 1. Medical Continuing Disability Reviews (CDRs) -This is good news for any adult or child with a physical or mental condition (s), who was previously awarded social security disability […]
    • National Minority Mental Health Month July 29, 2016
      During the month of July, we commemorate National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month following the 2008 resolution by Congress. This resolution honors the legacy of Bebe Moore Campbell, an award winning African-American author, journalist, and teacher, who helped to destigmatize how minorities approach mental health issues in their communities. Based upon the 2000 […]
    • Raising Breast Cancer awareness in African-American women February 14, 2016
      At a past fundraiser for the Sisters Network in Atlanta, GA, I learned of the need for breast cancer awareness in the African American community. Breast cancer is the most common cancer amongst all women. cancer/dcpc/data/ women.htm Considering women under age 45, however, the mortality rate of breast cancer is higher for African-Americans than […]
    • Diabetes: How to win a social security disability case before an Adjudicator or ALJ December 10, 2015
      The Social Security Administration (SSA) eliminated Medical Listing 9.08. For complications from diabetes, this listing previously resulted in a finding of disability at step three of the sequential evaluation process for social security disability claims. In fact, effective June 7, 2015, there are no specific endocrine disorder listings anymore for adults. One exception is […]
    • Representatives have a duty to submit all evidence in social security disability cases to the Social Security Administration October 15, 2015
      Beginning in April 2015, the Social Security Administration (SSA) created new internal Hallex regulations requiring representatives to submit all existing evidence related to a client’s mental or physical impairments. In the past, representatives were not required to submit evidence that could adversely impact a client’s case. During hearings held at the Office of Disability Adjudication […]

How Does The Social Security Administration Evaluate My Case As An Adult?

If you are 18 years old or older, there are five basic steps of a sequential evaluation process that the Social Security Administration (SSA) considers to decide if you are disabled.

1. Are you engaging in substantial gainful activity? Please see my other blog posting regarding this topic on my website at In 2011, you cannot earn more than $1000 per month before taxes. If you earn this monthly amount or more, you will not receive social security disability.

2. Do you have a “severe impairment or “combination of severe impairments” that meet the duration requirement? Social Security Ruling 96-3p states that you have a severe impairment or combination of severe impairments if your mental and or physical condition(s) has more than a minimal effect on your ability to work. Social Security Ruling 82-52 states that your mental or physical condition (s) must have lasted or be expected to last for twelve months OR be expected to result in death. It is very unusual for an Adjudicator at the Georgia Department of Labor, Disability Adjudication Services (DAS) or for an Administrative Law Judge at the Office of Adjudication and Review (ODAR)to deny your claim at this

3. Do you have a mental or physical impairment that meets or equals a Medical Listing(s)? Please see my website at for a comprehensive list of mental and physical conditions to determine if your condition is there and what symptoms, signs, laboratory results or medical findings SSA is looking for. In my experience, most cases are granted at this step by an Adjudicator at the Georgia Department of Labor, Disability Adjudication Services (DAS). At the initial and reconsideration levels, DAS has psychologists or physicians on staff, who review your file, to see if your impairment(s) meets or equals a medical listing.

4. Can you return to any of your past relevant work? There is a three part test that is applied to your past jobs. First, in addressing recency, was the work performed within the last 15 years? Secondly, was the work substantial gainful activity (see step 1 above)? Thirdly, did your job meet the duration requirement? Pursuant to Social Security Ruling 82-62, the job should have been performed long enough for you to have “learned the techniques, acquired information, and developed the facility needed for average performance in the job situation. The length of time this would take depends on the nature and complexity of the work.” SSA has a vocational expert analyze all your jobs in the past 15 years to determine if you performed a job long enough to meet the duration requirement. If SSA finds that you can return to your past relevant work, you will not be found disabled.

5. If you cannot return to any of your past relevant work, can you do any other work, which exists in significant numbers in the regional or national economy? SSA considers your age, education, and the skill level of your past relevant work in evaluating whether there are other jobs that you can perform. If you have a physical condition, you could be found disabled based on a grid rule /OP_Home/cfr20/404/404-ap11.htm If a grid rule does not apply to you or you have a mental illness, you could be found disabled based on vocational expert testimony provided that you have disabling limitations. In my experience, most cases are granted at this step by an Administrative Law Judge at the Office of Adjudication and Review (ODAR), since Judges do not use Medical experts very often at hearings.

If you have any further questions about whether you are entitled to social security disability benefits, please contact the Law office of Kathleen Flynn at 404-479-4431 or visit our website at