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Maximum Sustained Work Capability

The Social Security Administration reviews your ability to perform work when processing your claim for Social Security Disability benefits. Your maximum sustained work capability will determine what, if any, type of work you are able to perform in the national economy.

The Social Security Administration classifies maximum sustained work capability into four different categories including sedentary work, light work, medium work and heavy work. The Residual Functional Capacity form (RFC) that you fill out when filing your disability application will help the SSA understand your maximum sustained work capability. There are four categories under which your sustained work capability may fall.

Sedentary Work

Sedentary work requires the lifting of no more than ten pounds at a time and is usually performed while seated. This type of work may include walking and standing for a total of no more than two hours of each eight-hour shift worked.

Light Work

Light work requires lifting of up to twenty pounds at a time and the frequent lifting of up to ten pounds during an eight-hour shift. People who can perform light work must be able to stand for up to six hours of each eight hour shift.

Medium Work

Medium work requires the ability to lift up to fifty pounds at a time. Jobs that fall into this category may also require the lifting of up to twenty-five pounds on a regular basis and up to six hours of standing and walking during each eight-hour shift.

Heavy Work

Heavy work requires an individual to be able to lift more than 100 pounds and meet the criteria for each of the above-mentioned categories.

If it is determined that you can perform any job requiring any of the above capabilities, you may be denied Social Security Disability benefits. On account of this, make sure that your RFC form is detailed and accurate when submitting your claim for Social Security Disability benefits.