When Oklahomans are disabled and seek Social Security disability benefits, it is easy to get caught up in the information and requirements Disability Determination Services and the Social Security Administration requests when it is set to consider the claim. Among the most important parts of a case, however, is the basic information. That includes the claimant’s limitations. The SSA divides this into two categories: exertional limitations and non-exertional limitations. The person’s ability to perform certain tasks based on these factors will have a significant impact on the decision and whether he or she gets SSD benefits.
The fundamentals of limitations
The person’s impairment can be based on what they can physically do and how emotional and mental issues hinder them when trying to work. When the limitations are assessed, exertional and non-exertional are considered. The applicant could have both and this will be factored in as the decision is made.
In general, the exertional limitations are based on whether the person has the physical capability to perform the duties of a job. They are categorized as sedentary, light, medium, heavy and very heavy and the amount of effort needed for the job. Also, the person will need to stand, sit, walk, carry and do other tasks for the job. This will be gauged in the context of what the person is able to do and how many of these jobs are available in the national economy.
Any other limitation is non-exertional. The person’s past relevant work will also be considered to gauge when can be done in the future based on competence and experience. Those who cannot do any of the work available and do not have the exertional or non-exertional capacity to perform any other kind of work are likely on the road to being approved for disability benefits.
Exertional and non-exertional limitations
There may be exertional limitations for myriad reasons including pain, the inability to move certain parts of the body in a specific way to perform the tasks and other issues. The extent of the exertional limitations will be assessed as part of the case. With non-exertional limitations, the person could have mental or emotional challenges that prevent them from completing the work. That might be nerves, anxiety or depression; being unable to concentrate or maintain attention; memory issues; sight and hearing problems; inability to tolerate the work atmosphere if it is, for example, too hot or too cold; or the simple inability to maintain posture in any part of the work such as bending over.
Showing these limitations is vital to a case
The two can be combined when the SSA is deciding on a case. Often, people who would otherwise have a solid case to receive SSD benefits are denied because they make a mistake on the application or do not have the evidence prepared to show that they are disabled. It is common for those whose impairments are so severe that they would be approved are denied for mistakes or failures in the application process.
Whether it is a physical or mental impairment or a combination, those who cannot work or have a loved one who needs SSD benefits should get legal advice from the start. Consulting with a local, experienced legal professional who understands the entire process of Social Security disability claims may be able to help with applying for benefits or appealing a denied claim.