The process of filing for disability benefits is tedious for a reason. There are dozens of eligibility criteria to meet before someone can start receiving disability benefits. Exertional capacity is part of the eligibility criteria that help determine whether a disability is severe enough to warrant benefits. Feel free to ask a Pennsylvania individual disability insurance lawyer for help if you have questions.
Exertional capacity is part of residual functional capacity. While residual functional capacity focuses on the wide range of activities someone can perform, exertional capacity focuses on physical performance. There are five exertion levels used to measure this, including sedentary, light, medium, heavy, and very heavy levels.
These exertion levels assess how much a person can lift and carry. Exertion levels also consider how long a person can stand, walk, and carry heavy objects. This helps pinpoint what jobs a person might be limited to due to the disability. Those who struggle to meet the lowest exertion levels may have a higher chance of receiving disability benefits.
Other exertional activities that might be assessed are pushing, sitting, and pulling. Non-exertional activities are also measured. Some examples of non-exertional activities include fingering, stooping, crouching, and handling. Limitations on non-exertional activities like these can reduce medium exertion levels to light or sedentary levels.
Determining a person’s overall exertional capacity involves evaluating all of these factors. The goal is to figure out how much the disability limits physical performance at work. This helps the Social Security Administration (SSA) determine which people are unable to work as a result of their disability.
Residual functional capacity is the general assessment used to determine whether a person’s disability causes physical and mental limitations that impact work performance. The way residual functional capacity works is by pulling information from multiple sources like medical evidence, symptoms, observations of limitations, and consultative examinations.
This means looking at what these sources say and reveal about what the person can still do and not do. Limitations caused by impairments from symptoms and pain will be looked at. If medical records do not provide enough information or support, then a consultative examination might be ordered. When this happens, the SSA assigns a professional to conduct a physical exam and generate a report.
All of this information is used to determine whether the person can perform past work despite the disability. When a person cannot perform past work, then the SSA will explore whether the person can adapt to new types of work. Various additional steps are involved in this process. Disability benefits are generally offered when the person cannot perform past or new types of work.
Consider contacting a Pennsylvania disability lawyer if you have concerns about your disability claim. A lawyer can help increase your chances.
The eligibility criteria for disability benefits can be confusing. Consider asking a Philadelphia disability attorney for help if you are concerned about your eligibility for benefits. You can contact Edelstein Martin & Nelson by dialing (800) 300-0909 for a consultation today about your disability benefits options. Our experienced legal team can help increase your chances of receiving disability benefits.