One of the primary questions in a claim for Social Security disability benefits is whether you are able to perform any of your previous jobs, or whether you are able to adapt to other jobs appropriate to your age, education and experience. If you can answer “no” to both of these questions, you may be eligible for disability benefits. A Fresno disability lawyer like Charles Oren can help you make the strongest case that the answers to these questions are true and that you are entitled to disability benefits.
Ability to Work Full-Time Five Days a Week
To answer this question, the Social Security Administration will try to determine what is called your residual functional capacity, or RFC. This is a specific technical term that refers to your maximum ability to work full-time, eight-hour workdays for a five-day workweek, and the extent to which your impairment and related symptoms prevent you from engaging in work-related activities. Your Fresno disability lawyer can answer any questions you might have about how this is determined.
The claims evaluator will first look at your exertional limitations or limitations related to your strength and your ability sit, stand, walk, lift, carry, push or pull. Your Fresno disability lawyer will explain that these restrictions are grouped into three categories:
- Medium work requires you to have the ability to lift up to 50 pounds sometimes and frequently lift up to 25 pounds. You must also be able to stand or walk for a total of about six hours during an eight-hour workday.
- Light work requires you to have the ability to lift up to 20 pounds sometimes and frequently carry up to 10 pounds. You must also be able to stand or walk for a total of about six hours during an eight-hour workday. This type of job requires significantly more walking or standing than the third type.
- Sedentary work requires you to have the ability to lift up to 10 pounds sometimes and occasionally lift or carry small articles. These jobs generally require a total of about two hours of standing or walking during an eight-hour workday. These jobs tend to require good use of the hands and fingers, and repetitive hand-finger movements.