When you attend a disability hearing in an attempt to overturn the SSA’s decision to deny your disability benefits you will be asked a number of questions by the administrative law judge who will be overseeing your case. The purpose of these questions is not to judge you as a person, but to help the judge who is hearing your case understand the extent of your disabling condition and how your condition prevents you from performing any type of work activity whatsoever – not just the employment that you have performed in the past. As a result, you will be asked a variety of questions including questions regarding limitations in your ability to sit and stand for certain periods of time.
To understand why your sitting and standing limitations matter to the administrative law judge who is hearing your case, you must understand how residual functional work capacity is evaluated. According to the SSA, just because you are not capable of performing the work activity you once performed, that does not mean that you will be unable to perform any type of work activity at all. For example, if you had previously worked in construction and your injury prevents you from doing the same work you had done before, that does not necessarily mean that your condition prevents you from performing work in an office environment. This is where sitting and standing limitations will come into play.
If you are unable to sit or stand for prolonged periods of time, those limitations can prevent you from performing other types of work in the national economy. For example, if you are unable to sit for more than an hour at a time, you would not be able to handle a job that requires you to be seated at a desk for the majority of the day. If you are unable to stand for more than an hour at a time, you would not be able to work a job that requires you to stand at a cash register or on a sales floor. The judge overseeing your disability case will take these factors into consideration when determining whether or not you are truly able to work or if you are indeed disabled and entitled to the Social Security Disability that you are fighting for.
Chances are, if you are unable to stand or sit for prolonged periods of time, you will be unable to find gainful employment in the national economy. This is the primary reason why you are asked about your standing and sitting limitations at your disability hearing. When answering the questions regarding your limitations, make sure that you are forthright and honest. Your lawyer will ensure that you have substantial medical evidence to prove the claims that you make in regards to the limitations your disability places on you and these factors will be taken into consideration when the judge decides whether or not to award you the disability benefits you need.