Non-exertional Capacity is your ability to handle sedentary (non labor-intensive) work situations, and is one of the many factors considered in deciding if you qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. Whereas most people think of your ability to deal with physical limitations (known as exertional capacity) as defining a disability, Non-exertional Capacity plays an equal role in your ability to sustain employment.
Non-exertional Capacity refers to any condition – mental or physical – that can hinder your activity. The ability to concentrate, dexterity, hearing, speech, vision and flexibility are all factors of your Non-exertional Capacity in both physically challenging and sedentary situations.
Non-exertional Capacity is a major factor in determining your residual functional capacity, which is the method used by the Social Security Administration (SSA) to determine a Social Security Disability benefit seeker’s ability to gain an income or complete daily tasks.
As with exertional capacity, Non-exertional Capacity is considered in terms of what you are capable of. The effect of your mental and physical illness or injury on sedentary activities is assessed. The less you are able to do, the less your Non-exertional Capacity is. This great approves your chances of receiving Social Security Disability benefits.
When testing Non-exertional Capacity, your doctor or examining physician will ask various questions relating to your ability to handle daily tasks. For example, do you have problems concentrating or does your condition make it difficult to follow simple instructions? Does a lack of dexterity prevent you from typing on a computer or answering a phone? Does a mental condition or speech impairment make everyday exchanges with other people extremely difficult? The physician will also consider your ability to handle certain environmental factors, such as noise, and fluctuations in temperature.
A doctor will include their findings in a medical report, which will be used by the SSA in their decision to grant Social Security Disability benefits. Proving a lack of Non-exertional Capacity will play a large role in your eligibility for Social Security Disability benefits.