ABCs of Social Security Disability
Social Security Disability has a unique set of laws, with different rules and procedures from general tort law. As such, Social Security Disability law has developed its own linguistics and phraseology that can be confusing to lawyers who do not emphasize Social Security Disability claims in their practice-more so for disabled workers. In this blog, we will define general terms you will come across which defines the type of jobs you have performed in the past and jobs you may be able to perform with your medical problems.
Sedentary Work is a legal term which is defined as follows: Sedentary work involves lifting no more than 10 pounds at a time and occasionally lifting or carrying articles like docket files, ledgers, and small tools. Although a sedentary job is defined as one which involves sitting, a certain amount of walking and standing is often necessary in carrying out job duties. Jobs are considered sedentary if walking and standing are required occasionally and other sedentary criteria are met.
Light work involves lifting no more than 20 pounds at a time with frequent lifting or carrying of objects weighting up to 10 pounds. Even though the weight lifted may be very little, a job is in the light work category when it requires a good deal of walking or standing or when it involves sitting most of the time with some pushing and pulling of arm or leg controls. To be considered capable of performing a full or wide range of light work, you must have the ability to do substantially all of these activities. If someone can do light work, the Social Security Administration determines that they can also do sedentary work unless there are additional limiting factors such as the loss of fine dexterity or the inability to sit for long periods of time.
Medium work involves lifting no more than 50 pounds at a time with frequent lifting or carrying of objects weighing up to 25 pounds. If someone can do medium work, the Social Security Administration will find that you can also do sedentary and light duty work.
If your condition(s) limit you to medium work and prevents you from performing your past relevant work, you may be entitled to disability benefits, but this depends on other factors such as your age, education, past relevant work and whether you have obtained job skills which are transferable to other medium work. While it is more difficult for someone who has the functional ability to perform a wide or full range of medium work, it is not impossible. For example, Social Security holds that person who (i) have a marginal education and (2) who have worked for 35 years of more, during which they did only arduous unskilled physical labor (3) and who are no longer working and (4) are unable to do this kind of work due to their condition are entitled to disability benefits.
Heavy Work and Very Heavy Work
Heavy work involves lifting no more than 100 pounds at a time with frequent lifting or carrying of objects weighing up to 50 pounds. If someone can do heavy work, the Social Security Administration determines the they can also do medium, light and sedentary work.
Very heavy work involves lifting objects weighing more than 100 pounds at a time with frequent lifting or carrying of objects weighing up to 50 pounds. If someone can do heavy work, the Social Security Administration determines the they can also do heavy, medium, light and sedentary work.
If you believe that you are disabled and you have questions about your right to Social Security Disability or SSI benefits, don’t hesitate to contact and speak with one of the experienced Alabama Disability Attorneys at Powell and Denny for a free consultation. Virtual appointments are available for you wherever you live.
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ABCs of Social Security Disability