As the Social Security Administration (SSA) reviews your application for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits, your physical and/or mental limitations are examined to determine if you are able to maintain gainful employment. The SSA also looks at your education, work history, and work experience to evaluate the type of work you’ve done in the past and the kind of work you could potentially do, given your medical or psychological limitations.
The SSA categorizes jobs into basic groups according to the physical requirements and other job duties of each position. After looking into your work history, the SSA will classify your former positions of employment in this manner. They will also look at your capabilities and assign a job classification to the kind of work you may be able to perform even with your physical or mental limitations.
Medium work is among the categories of job classifications the SSA utilizes and is defined as a job that does not require the worker to lift any more than 50 pounds at any one time, but which may still require the lifting or carrying of items that weigh up to 25 pounds.
If the SSA finds that you are able to perform medium work and your traditional jobs have also been in the medium work category, then you will be found ineligible for disability benefits, as the SSA will see you as being capable of performing your pervious work even with the limitations that your medical or psychological condition may place on you.
Additionally, if the SSA finds that you are able to perform medium work, then they will also determine that you’re capable of performing light and sedentary work, which require less physical capability. Even if you are unable to perform your traditional work in the medium category, but your education, training and experience make you qualified for light or sedentary jobs, the SSA may also find you ineligible for SSD benefits. This is because they believe you should be able to find and maintain gainful employment in a light or sedentary job.
It is also possible that the SSA will require you to undergo a vocational rehabilitation training program in which you’ll learn new skills so you can get a light or sedentary job. If this is the case, you will be found eligible for SSD benefits and begin receiving payments, as you’re unable to do the medium work to which you were previously accustomed. However, your continued eligibility for SSD benefits will be contingent upon participation in the vocational rehabilitation program.