Sedentary work, also called light duty work, is work that involves lifting no more than 10 pounds at once. It can occasionally involve carrying or lifting items such as ledgers, small tools, and docket files. While a sedentary job is defined as one that involves a lot of sitting, they also involve some walking and standing to carry out your job duties. Usually, this involves standing or walking for two hours in during the work day and the inability to sit for six out of eight hours a day.
How Sedentary Work Impacts the Disability Process
Because sedentary is classified as very light duty work that involves lifting as much as 10 pounds, it is also considered during the disability application process. During the claims process, you must prove that you are completely disabled. To meet the Social Security Administration (SSA) guidelines for being disabled, you must prove that you are unable to perform any kind of work, including sedentary work which is the lightest duty work available.
While sedentary work may be viewed as sitting in one place, that is far from the case. The SSA considers the actual requirements of sedentary work, which involves lifting, walking, and standing.
To determine what kind of work you can still do despite your disability, the SSA will prepare at residual functional capacity (RFC) assessment for you. The RFC will detail all work-related limitations that you may experience because of your impairment. The RFC is designed to determine the most you can do on a regular basis continually, which is 8 hours a day for 5 days a week.
You must provide as much information about your impairment as possible because the SSA can only use the symptoms and restrictions that are indicated in your medical records. If your physician will complete a RFC it can be very beneficial to your case because the SSA considers the opinions of your treating physician and gives them significant consideration in regards to your claim.
How Does Sedentary Work Impact Your Claim?
To receive Social Security disability benefits, you must prove that you are completely disabled. To be completely disabled, you cannot be able to perform even sedentary work on a regular basis. Because sedentary work is very light duty, it may be more difficult to prove that you are unable to perform this kind of work regularly. However, if you can show that you are unable to stand or walk two hours out of eight hours, sit six out of eight hours, or lift as much as 10 pounds repeatedly, you can prove your case for disability benefits.
If the SSA reaches the point that they can say you can only do less than sedentary duties, you should have your claim approved and be deemed eligible for monthly benefits. It is your job to provide adequate documentation that shows your disability which focuses on your symptoms, your restrictions, and your limitations. The key to a successful claim is providing thorough medical records including test results, treatment plans, and details about your restrictions or limitations as documented by your treating physician.
To Prove You Cannot Do Sedentary Work:
- You must not be unable to lift as much as 10 pounds.
- The inability to stand or walk for more than two hours combined per day.
- The inability to sit for six out of eight hours.
- The need to have one leg elevated.
- The use of medically required devices to help with walking.
- The inability to move an arm because of amputation above an elbow.