How Can You Prove You’re Not Capable of Handling Sedentary Work?

Not Capable of Sedentary Work

One of the keys to successfully obtaining Social Security disability benefits is that you not only have to demonstrate that you’re no longer capable of doing the type of work you were performing prior to your disability, but in most cases you must also show that you’re also unable to do work that’s considered less physically demanding. Proving an inability to handle less demanding work can be especially challenging for younger disability applicants. This is because the SSA often deems that even though a person has severe health impairments and limitations, they’re still healthy enough to adjust to a job that allows them to sit all day.

What Are the Exact Requirements the SSA Uses for Job Classifications?

Regardless of age, there are plenty of people pursuing Social Security benefits who simply aren’t able to perform any type of work. If you’re in that category but are concerned the Social Security Administration is going to find you capable of performing some type of work, the best way to start strengthening your case is by understanding exactly how the SSA classifies the different categories of jobs.

The five categories used by the SSA are sedentary, light, medium, heavy and very heavy work. For light through very heavy work, lifting requirements range from 20 to 100 pounds. Additionally, it’s assumed that all four categories will require walking or standing for most of the day. Not surprisingly, many people with a physical disability are unable to perform work in any of those categories.

Given the name of the other category (sedentary) the most common misconception about it is that those jobs only require sitting all day. However, the SSA guidelines actually state that sedentary work may still require lifting up to ten pounds. It also states that walking or standing may be required for up to two hours a day. For many people with a disability, that amount of physical activity on a daily basis simply isn’t possible.

Because the two hour requirement is one of the guidelines for sedentary work, demonstrating why that’s not possible for you to do can play a key role in winning your disability claim or appeal.

How Can You Show You’re Unable to Walk or Stand for Two Hours a Day?

When the SSA evaluates your claim, they will prepare a residual functional capacity assessment. A RFC uses the medical evidence you supply to determine your capabilities and limitations. Because the RFC is built around the records and other evidence you submit, you need to have enough to show that even sedentary work is out of the question for you.

Whether you’re filing your original claim or an appeal, proving you’re unable to do sedentary work can be a challenge.

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