Work and Social Security Disability (SSI and SSDI) is an important topic.  Whether someone can do other work than past work is considered.  Whether someone can do other work is based on a five step process and often it is the last step that determines if someone is disabled.  At this step it must determined if the person can do other work (not one’s past work) that exists in the national economy.  At this step the disability judge will make findings on what the person’s physical limitations are in terms of sitting, standing, walking, lifting, carrying, pushing, and pulling.  These are the exertional limitations in social security disability.  The disability judges and Social Security will also consider non exertional limitations in disability such as limitations with vision, hearing, speech, climbing, stooping, kneeling, crawling, handling, fingering, etc. 

Other Work and Social Security Disability

Often the disability judge will need to conclude that a person is not disabled because they can do sedentary work.  This is work that involves only occasional standing and/or walking.  Under social security disability law occasional means from very little to 1/3rd of the time or no more than 2 hours of the day.  A significant limitation in reaching would likely lead to disability under Social Security since reaching is required in virtually all jobs. Also in this type of work the disability judge will need to find that the person has very good use of both hands.  Therefore often to be found disabled it can be very important to have medical evidence that shows that there are limitations here due to a hand/wrist injury, carpal tunnel, neuropathy, or some other condition that hinders one’s ability to use their hands.  Your disability attorney can help you figure out how to support these impairments so to help you qualify for Social Security is always helpful.  Of course social security will always consider if your work experience, age, and education would allow you to adjust to other work.  However, there are often many times of unskilled jobs that do not require much physical exertion or standing/walking.  They are frequently production type jobs that do require good use of one’s hands though.