Often, Social Security Disability claims come down to deciding whether a person can work at a sedentary job. That naturally begs the question: What is a sedentary job? The Social Security Administration uses the same definition as the Dictionary of Occupational Titles when defining exertional levels of work. The SSA defines sedentary as:
As discussed previously, Social Security Disability and SSI claims hinge on the Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) of the claimant and whether work exists in the local or national economy in light of that claimant's RFC. I also recently discussed the different exertional levels the Social Security Administration utilizes: sedentary; light; medium; heavy, etc. The exertional levels are most often defined in terms of strength or ability to walk, stand, or sit. However, other activities can affect the RFC of a claimant in terms of the listed exertional levels. Some of these activities fall under what are defined as postural/manipulative activities or limitations. Examples of these activities are: climbing, balancing, stooping, crouching, crawling, pushing/pulling, kneeling, reaching, and handling.
Social Security Disability and SSI claims almost always deal with exertional levels, whether it is looking at the claimant's past relevant work or her residual functional capacity, i.e. what the claimant can still do despite her physical or mental impairments. What is an exertional level?