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Sedentary, Light, and Medium Work Explained

Posted by Anton G. Ficek | Jan 12, 2022

If you are closely approaching 50 years old and have physical impairments, the Administrative Law Judge should analyze your ability to sit, stand, walk, lift, carry, push, handle or manipulate objects, reach, push, pull, twist, stoop, crouch, climb stairs, and climb ladders. Depending on the restrictions the Administrative Law Judge has found in his or her residual functional capacity assessment, you will be classified as having an ability to perform sedentary, light, medium, heavy, or very heavy work. Posted below is a quick reference table explaining social security disability exertional level definitions. I recommend speaking with an attorney to determine how this classification could affect the outcome of your case. 

Limits of Weights Lifted/Carried or Force Exerted by Strength Level

Rating

Occasionally

Frequently

Constantly

Sedentary

* to 10

*

N/A

Light

* to 20

* to 10

*

Medium

20 to 50

10 to 25

* to 10

Heavy

50 to 100

25 to 50

10 to 20

Very Heavy

100+

50+

20+

SCO Code

Frequency

Definition

N

Not Present

Activity or condition does not exist.

O

Occasionally

Activity or condition exists up to one-third of the time.

F

Frequently

Activity or condition exists from one-third to two-thirds of the time.

C

Constantly

Activity or condition exists two-thirds or more of the time.

About the Author

Anton G. Ficek

Social Security Disability Law

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