For Floridians who are injured and cannot work, Social Security disability benefits can be a critical lifeline to help them make ends meet, get the medical care they need and try to return to full health. It is important to note, however, that the Social Security Administration (SSA) can be strict about approving a claim. The applicant’s capabilities can be a crucial aspect. This is when it becomes important to understand the physical exertion requirements and how they are categorized.
Levels of physical exertion for SSD benefits
There are five categories of physical exertion. They are sedentary work, light work, medium work, heavy work, and very heavy work. Sedentary work is the easiest for a person to do and does not require much physical strength or endurance to carry out. A person who works as a file clerk would be able to complete his or her duties carrying files, documents and small items. The person would also need to sit for extended periods, walk and stand to do the job. An applicant whose injuries or conditions are so significant that they are unable to do these simple things could be approved for SSD benefits.
Light work is slightly more difficult that sedentary work with the employee needing to lift as much as 20 pounds and often carry objects that weigh 10 pounds. There may be walking, standing, sitting and the use of the extremities and hands to perform the job tasks. A lack of strength, endurance or dexterity could prevent the person from doing these jobs. Medium work includes lifting as much as 50 pounds at a time and carrying items that weight up to 25 pounds. Heavy work requires lifting up to 100 pounds and carrying up to 25 pounds. Very heavy work is lifting more than 100 pounds and carrying 50 pounds or more.
When applying for SSD benefits, it may be wise to have legal assistance
A mistake people may make when they are applying for SSD benefits is that they are unaware of the nuance in the application process. That includes the SSA and Disability Determination Services deciding on the amount of work a person might or might not be able to do. The assessment as to a person’s maximum exertion is a key and understated factor in a claim. For large and small issues in a disability claim, it is important to be protected and have legal advice to seek benefits and to appeal a denied claim. A firm with experience in Social Security disability cases may be able to help.