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What Is Sedentary Work?

What Is Sedentary Work?

To qualify for disability benefits, you must not be able to do sedentary work.

What Is Sedentary Work?

The process of applying for Social Security disability benefits can be confusing. There are complex regulations to follow, and each applicant must submit evidence to the Social Security Administration (SSA) to support their claim. Understanding how it all works, including the standards the SSA uses, can help you along the way.

The SSA looks at 5 factors to determine if a person is disabled:

  1. A person cannot earn more than $1,220 a month from working (gainful employment) to qualify;
  2. A person’s disability must significantly limit their ability to basic work for at last 12 months;
  3. A person’s condition must either be found on the SSA’s list of disabling conditions or be as severe as a condition on this list;
  4. A person’s medical impairment must prevent them from performing any of their past work; and
  5. A person must not be able to do any other type of work, considering their impairment, age, education, past work experience and any transferable skills.

If the SSA determines that you can do any other type of work, then you will not qualify for benefits.

As an experienced California Social Security disability benefits lawyer can explain, sedentary work includes jobs that are mostly seated, standing and walking for a maximum of 2 hours each day. Also referred to as light duty work, in a sedentary position, a person can lift no more than 10 pounds and occasionally carry light objects.

While many of us consider “sedentary” to mean sitting around, that is not how it is defined under the SSA guidelines. To be able to do sedentary work, you have to be able to lift objects of up to 10 pounds, carry those objects, walk and stand. This is more than just sitting in the same place all day — and something that you should keep in mind as you build your case for disability benefits together with your California Social Security disability benefits lawyer.

The SSA will perform a residual functional capacity (RFC) test during the disability evaluation process. This will result in a report that will describe what limits you have as a result of your disability (related to your ability to work). If the RFC states that you can only perform “less than sedentary” work, then you will receive disability benefits.

The goal for applicants who seek disability benefits is to prove that they cannot perform sedentary work. This can be done by submitting evidence showing that they:

  • Cannot lift 10 pounds;
  • Cannot sit for 6 out of 8 hours;
  • Cannot stand or walk for more than 2 hours combined;
  • Must have one leg elevated;
  • Require a device to help you walk; or
  • Cannot move an arm due to an amputation above an elbow.

This should be documented through medical records.

Understanding what sedentary work is, and how it impacts the SSA disability review process, can have a significant impact on your chances of receiving benefits. A skilled California Social Security disability benefits lawyer can assist you in putting together a strong application that demonstrates that your disability prevents you from performing even sedentary work.

For more than 40 years, PLBSH has worked with people with disabilities throughout California, helping them file successful disability claims. Contact our firm today at (800) 435-7542 or info@plbsh.com to schedule a consultation about your disability clam.

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