You hurt yourself at work but shake it off and go about your day. As you continue, you discover that it is more painful to do the daily activities that your job requires. At 5:00, everything hurts. It is too painful to continue working and you start to think your “ouch moment” is actually a serious injury. After a trip to the doctor, your worst fears are realized. You are considering applying for social security disability insurance, but wonder, “Do I qualify?” In fact, exertion requirements at your job play a pivotal role in social security’s disability determination. If you have a long-term disability insurance policy through your employer or a private disability policy, the same exertion requirements will be used by the LTD insurance company to determine whether you can return to your job. As disability lawyers in Florida, we are well versed in these requirements and how they affect a social security disability and LTD insurance claim.
Physical exertion on the job is divided and defined into five distinct categories. They include:
- Sedentary work – requires that you lift no more than 10 pounds at a time while occasionally lifting or carrying light articles (i.e. – files, ledgers, and small tools). Some walking and standing (0-2 hours per day) are required to carry out duties, but most duties can be carried out while sitting (6-8 hours per day).
- Light work – requires that you lift no more than 20 pounds at a time while frequently lifting or carrying articles up to 10 pounds. This job requires more walking and standing to carry out your job duties. Light work encompasses activities that require frequent pushing and pulling with your arms and legs.
- Medium work – requires that you lift no more than 50 pounds at a time while frequently lifting or carrying articles weighing no more than 25 pounds.
- Heavy work – requires that you lift no more than 100 pounds at a time while frequently lifting or carrying articles weighing no more than 50 pounds.
- Very heavy work – requires that you lift more than 100 pounds at a time while frequently lifting articles weighing 50 pounds or greater.
Your ability to work is determined on a descending scale. In other words, if your judge determines you can do medium work, you can also do light and sedentary work. Contact our long-term disability lawyers in Tallahassee, FL today to determine whether your prior job’s exertion requirements and your current ability (“residual functional capacity”) allow for a successful disability application or appeal.