Denied for Benefits? How to Prove You Can’t Do Sedentary Work

by | Aug 22, 2023 | SSD Denials and Appeals

To be approved for Social Security Disability benefits, you will need to show that you are incapable of doing your most recent job as well as any less demanding job. Proving you can’t do sedentary work can be challenging.

The Social Security Administration classifies sedentary work as jobs that are mostly seated, requires lifting no more than ten pounds, occasional carrying of light objects, and standing or walking for two hours or less each day.

If you have issues performing sedentary labor and yet the SSA still denied your disability benefits, contact us today for a disability expert on how we can help you re-apply.

SSA Requirements For Job Classifications

There are five categories that are used by the Social Security Administration to determine your capability of performing work.

  • Sedentary Work
  • Light Work
  • Medium Work
  • Heavy Work
  • Very Heavy Work

For light through very heavy work, light 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 physical disability are unable to perform work in any of those categories.

SSA guidelines actually state that sedentary work may still require lifting up to ten pounds as well as walking or standing 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.

You must demonstrate why it’s not possible for you to complete the two-hour requirement.

How Can You Show You’re Unable To Meet The 2-Hour Requirement?

When the Social Security Administration evaluates your claim, they will prepare a residual functional capacity (RFC) assessment. This detailed report described what kind of work-related functions you are able to do on a regular, sustained basis.

An RFC is primarily based on medical evidence, but may also include observations or descriptions, including a statement from you. Once your RFC is complete, the SSA will determine the type of work that you can perform. To be awarded benefits, you will need to earn “less than sedentary work” classification.

It is very important to have your physician carefully document your abilities. For example, if you are not capable of going from a seated to a standing position or if you are unable to walk or stand for up to two hours throughout a day, this should be carefully noted in your medical records.

Additionally, if your doctor has said that you cannot lift objects less than 10 pounds or you are unable to grasp or hold objects, it is imperative that this is documented.

What Questions Do I Need to Answer About My Condition?

Some questions that you will want to consider and have documented include:

  • If you can sit for up to six hours at a time, do you require pain medications to do so?
  • What types of medications are you on and how do they impact your ability to work?
  • Do you suffer from diagnosed depression or anxiety as a result of your illness? If so, what types of treatments do you require for them and how do those treatments impact your work?
  • Does your medical condition require you to take frequent breaks, lie down, or elevate your legs? If so, how often?
  • How often must you attend to treatment, such as therapies, infusions, or doctor’s appointments?
  • Are you able to go from a seated to standing position without assistance?
  • Does your condition prohibit you from using your hands, such as answering a phone or grasping objects?
  • Can you reach things across your desk or bend down to get something without assistance?

These are just a few of the questions that you may want to consider when trying to prove that you are not capable of sedentary work. It’s important that these answers are backed up by medical evidence or expert opinion.

Call Us Today!

If you are unable to do sedentary work, ccontact us  for one of our experts to help with your case. We can assist you by determining which functional limitations apply to you, what medical evidence you may need to collect, and how to best present your case to prove that you can’t do sedentary work.

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    2. Did you earn taxable income for 5 of the last 10 years?

    3. Are you currently receiving disability benefits?

    4. Have you seen a doctor within the last 12 months?

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