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Tucson Social Security Disability Blog

Exertional Limitations

Posted by John Kuhnlein | Dec 16, 2015 | 0 Comments

When Social Security examines your claim for disability, they will consider a large number of factors.  Among these is your age, education, and work experience. One of the key factors Social Security is going to look at regarding your claim for a bad spine is what they call exertional limitations.  Social Security examines what you can do across a range of activities. These are: lift and carry, sit, stand, and walk. Social Security will estimate how much of each of these things you can do. Based on the answers they come up with, Social Security will assign you a maximum work status.  The most common of these categories are sedentary, light, medium.  Note that if a person cannot do sedentary work, regardless of his or her age, Social Security will find him or her disabled.  Note further that anyone capable of more than work is not likely to get approved.

The exertional limitations for the three categories are as follows:

Category                                   Lift/Carry                      Sit               Standing or Walking

Sedentary                                 Up to 10 Pounds         6 Hours         2 Hours         

Light                                         10/20 Pounds              2                    6 Hours

Medium                                     25/50 Pounds             N/A                8 hours

Exert Yourself!

The times given in hours are the total in an eight-hour work day. The lifting/carrying numbers are what a person could do up to one-third of each day (the higher number) and up to two-thirds of the day (the lower number)

Keep in mind that the exertional limitations are only one thing Social Security considers.  Social Security could find a person who can do everything required of medium work disabled due to other limitations, such as environmental or visual impairments. Your age will also matter when Social Security looks at your exertional limitations.  At best, the above chart can give you some idea of what Social Security is looking at.  If you have questions about what any of this means, please don't hesitate to call or email. 

About the Author

John Kuhnlein

Since 1992, I have been helping the people of Southern Arizona get the benefits they are due. Before devoting all my efforts to assisting people with Social Security disability claims, I also handled such complex lawsuits as medical malpractice and products liability. I brought to my Social Security cases all the skills and attention to detail that I developed in the courtroom. I approach each Social Security disability case as if it were a million-dollar lawsuit. For the people trying to get Social Security benefits, their claim is every bit as important. Because I have personally handled so many Social Security cases, I have refined the skills I need to win your case for you. I have helped people win cases for every kind of ailment from arthritis to valley fever. At present, I am focused on helping those persons with neurological and orthopedic disorders. Because claims for people over age fifty bring additional complications, I particularly seek out those cases to work on. I regularly write about back and spine conditions on my blog. I actively seek out the latest information about orthopedic and neurological disorders to ensure I can represent my clients as effectively as possible. Because of my current focus, I regret that I am not able to take any cases for mental disorders. If you are over age fifty and suffer from any orthopedic or neurological disorder, please contact me at once.


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John Kuhnlein has been assisting people with Social Security disability claims for the past 25+ years.

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