Many people, including Social Security practitioners, believe that a person is disabled if they are unable to perform a full range of sedentary work.That is not always true.Although a residual functional capacity (RFC) for less than a full range of sedentary work greatly erodes the occupational base, it does not necessarily equate with a decision of disabled.
When a person has a RFC for less than a full range of sedentary work, the issue of nonexertional limitations becomes increasingly important. A nonexertional limitation is an impairment-caused limitation affecting such capacities as mental abilities, vision, hearing, speech, climbing, balancing, stooping, kneeling, crouching, crawling, reaching, handling, fingering, and feeling. Environmental restrictions are also considered to be nonexertional.
Social Security Ruling 96-9p states how these nonexertional limitations affect a person’s ability to work if they have a RFC of less than sedentary.
1.A complete inability to stoop would significantly erode the unskilled sedentary occupational base and a finding that the individual is disabled would usually apply.
2.Most unskilled sedentary jobs require good use of the hands and fingers for repetitive hand-finger actions.
3.If a visual limitation prevents an individual from seeing the small objects involved in most sedentary unskilled work, or if an individual is not able to avoid ordinary hazards in the workplace, such as boxes on the floor, doors ajar, or approaching people or vehicles, there will be a significant erosion of the sedentary occupational base.
4.The ability to hear and understand simple oral instructions or to communicate simple information is sufficient.
Simply expressed, every Social Security case is unique and depends on many different variables. An experienced Social Security disability attorney can help you navigate through these rules and regulations.