Doctors are often asked to complete forms stating their patients’ restrictions, limitations, and general capabilities. Insurance companies ask these doctors to state whether a client is capable of Sedentary, Light, Medium, Heavy and Very Heavy Work, but the insurance companies do not give accurate definitions of each type of work. A doctor might, therefore, state that a client is capable of “light duty” work when, in fact, their restrictions would preclude them from performing such work. Often, a doctor may say “light duty” when they just mean something less than full duty. They don’t realize that “light” means something different to your disability insurance company or the Social Security Administration. By writing that you can do a certain level of work when you cannot actually do that much activity, they may be seriously hurting your disability case. If your doctor has been asked to complete any forms that state what your restrictions and limitations are, it is a good idea to provide them with the following guidelines (taken directly from the U.S. government’s Dictionary of Occupational Titles) for the requirements of each type of work: Sedentary Work – exerting (lifting or pushing/pulling) up to 10 pounds of force occasionally (Occasionally: activity or condition exists up to 1/3 of the time) and/or a negligible amount of force frequently (Frequently: activity or condition exists from 1/3 to 2/3 of the time) or lift, carry, push, pull, or otherwise move objects, including the human body. Sedentary work involves sitting most of the time, but may involve walking or standing for brief periods of time. Jobs are sedentary if walking and standing are required only occasionally and all other sedentary criteria are met. Light Work – exerting up to 20 pounds of force occasionally, and/or up to 10 pounds of force frequently, and/or a negligible amount of force constantly (Constantly: activity or condition exists 2/3 or more of the time) to move objects. Physical demand requirements are in excess of those for Sedentary Work. Even though the weight lifted may be only a negligible amount, a job should be rated Light Work: (1) when it requires walking or standing to a significant degree; or (2) when it requires sitting most of the time but entails pushing and/or pulling of arm or leg controls; and (3) when the job requires working at a production rate pace entailing the constant pushing and/or pulling of materials even though the weight of those materials is negligible. NOTE: The constant stress and strain of maintaining a production rate pace, especially in an industrial setting, can be and is physically demanding of a worker even though the amoung of force exerted is negligible. Medium Work – exerting 20 to 50 pounds of force occasionally, and/or 10 to 25 pounds of force frequently, and/or greater than negligible force up to 10 pounds of force constantly to move objects. Physical Demand requirements are in excess of those for Light Work. Heavy Work – exerting 50 to 100 pounds of force occasionally, and/or 25 to 50 pounds of force frequently, and/or 10 to 20 pounds of force constantly to move objects. Physical Demand requirements are in excess of those for Medium Work. Very Heavy – exerting in excess of 100 pounds of force occasionally, and/or in excess of 50 pounds of force frequently, and/or in excess of 20 pounds of force constantly to move objects. Physical Demand requirements are in excess of those for Heavy Work. REMEMBER: Give your doctor these guidelines before he or she completes any forms on your behalf. Remind your doctor to also consider non-exertional impairments (like difficulty concentrating because of medication side effects) that would make even Sedentary Work too difficult to perform. Copyright (c) 2008 by John V. Tucker and Tucker & Ludin, P.A. All rights reserved. For assistance with your Long Term Disability claim, ERISA Disability benefit claim, Social Security Disability claim, or Veterans Disability compensation or pension claim, call Disability Lawyer John Tucker at (866) 282-5260.