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What should I know about exertional limitations for SSD benefits?

On Behalf of | Nov 14, 2019 | Social Security Disability

When a person in Oklahoma is suffering from an injury or illness that they believe warrants an approval for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits, it is important to note that it is not as simple as applying and automatically getting the benefits. The Social Security Administration (SSA) wants to make certain that people who are applying meet the necessary requirements. There are many factors to consider. For those who are limited in how much they can exert themselves because of their impairment, it is imperative to understand how the SSA gauges exertional and non-exertional limitations.

There will be a certain amount of exertion with any job. For people who are limited in what they can do before it negatively affects them, their exertional limitations can be a critical factor in their claim. If a person does not have the ability to meet the strength requirements to complete a job, it is considered exertional.

If there are limits separate from strength demands, it will be non-exertional. With exertional limitations, the lack of strength to complete the tasks affect whether they can meet the job requirements, like walking, standing, sitting, carrying, pushing and pulling. The SSA will then assess the worker’s vocational profile and the jobs available in the economy to decide if there is work that the person can do.

With non-exertional limitations, the ability to do the job beyond the strength demands will be considered. If the person has the strength to do the job, but has other problems because of their condition, this will be categorized as non-exertional. Included in the limitations and restrictions for non-exertional issues are: problems functioning due to anxiety, depression or nervousness; inability to concentrate or maintain attention; difficulty remembering and following instructions; issues seeing or hearing; problems with handling certain fundamental aspects of the workplace such as fumes; or difficulties with some areas of the job like the need to reach, handle, climb and stoop.

Some people have a combination of exertional and non-exertional limitations and this will be considered when the decision is made. People who are unable to work, need medical care and think SSD benefits are a viable option should be cognizant of how various factors are considered as part of the case. Exertional and non-exertional limitations are just part of the process.