Step 2: Is the individual’s physical and/or mental condition severe?
At the second step, the Social Security Administration considers the medical severity of an individual’s impairment(s). An individual must have a medically determinable physical or mental impairment (or a combination of impairments) that is severe and meets the duration requirement. To be severe an impairment or impairments must interfere with basic work-related activities.
To meet the duration requirement the impairment(s) must be expected to last twelve months or to result in death. If the impairment(s) are not severe or do not meet the duration requirement, the individual is found not disabled. If the impairment(s) are severe and meet the duration requirement, the adjudicator goes to question three.
Basic Work-Related Activities can be broken down to physical tasks and mental tasks.
Physical: – lifting, carrying, standing, walking, sitting, pushing, pulling, plus the “nonexertional” activities rated in the Selected Characteristics Of Occupations Defined in the Revised Dictionary of Occupational Titles (SCO).
Mental: – Ability to understand, carry out, and remember simple instructions – Make simple, work-related judgments and decisions – Respond appropriately to supervision, coworkers and work situations – Deal with changes in a routine work setting