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Sedentary, Light, Medium and Heavy Work–What Does it Mean?

Posted by Louis B. Lusk | Feb 21, 2012 | 0 Comments

Sedentary, Light, Medium and Heavy Work–What Does it Mean?

The Social Security Administration (SSA) classifies work into five different levels: sedentary, light, medium, heavy, and very heavy. These classification levels come from the Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT) and are based on the amount of physical exertion that the work requires. When you apply for Social Security disability benefits, the SSA evaluates your mental and physical limitations to determine what type of work you're still able to perform. To be considered disabled and win benefits, you have to prove that you're unable to perform any basic work activities. The SSA examines your medical evidence to see if you're capable of performing the types of work described below: Sedentary A job is considered sedentary if walking and standing only take up about two hours in an eight hour work day. Sedentary work requires you to sit for up to six hours a day. It involves occasionally lifting no more than 10 pounds at a time and lifting or carrying small items, such as paperwork. Most unskilled sedentary jobs require you to use your hands and fingers. Examples of sedentary jobs include receptionist, packer, sorter, surveillance systems monitor, and dispatcher. Light Light work requires the ability to stand for up to six hours in an eight hour work day. You have to be able to lift up to 10 pounds frequently and up to 20 pounds occasionally. Jobs that are classified as light work may require you to stand and walk often, but some may require you to sit for most of the day, pushing or pulling arm and leg controls. If the SSA determines that you're able to perform light work, you'll also be considered able to perform sedentary work. Examples of light work include cashier, stocker, and security guard. Medium Medium work requires you to stand up to six hours in an eight hour work day. You are also required to have the ability to lift 25 pounds frequently and 50 pounds occasionally. In addition, medium work involves sitting, kneeling, climbing, and squatting. Plumbing and construction are examples of medium work. Heavy and Very Heavy Heavy and very heavy work requires you to stand for the same amount of time as medium work, but you also have to be able to lift up to or more than 100 pounds. The most difficult types of construction work, such as construction cleanup, are classified as heavy or very heavy work. Need an Atlanta Social Security Disability Lawyer? The key to winning Social Security disability benefits is providing strong medical evidence showing that you're not capable of performing any of the work activities outlined above. To increase your chances of getting a favorable decision from the SSA, call Atlanta Social Security disability lawyer Louis B. Lusk at 800.883.7043 or fill out our online contact form to set up a free consultation.

About the Author

Louis B. Lusk

About Louis B. Lusk – Disability Attorney Attorney Louis B. Lusk has helped thousands of disabled individuals recover Social Security disability and SSI disability benefits.  He is an active member of the National Organization of Social Security Claimant's Representatives (NOSSCR), an organizat...


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