Overview of Disability

Disability Back Pay

Disability Requirements

Disability Applications

Disability Advice Tips

How long do cases take?

How to win Disability

SSD Mistakes to avoid

Disability for Mental

What if you get denied?

How to file Appeals

Disability through SSA

SSI Disability Benefits

Disability for Children

How do I qualify for it?

Working and Disability

Disability Award Notice

Disability Lawyer Q&A

Disability Conditions List

What is a disability?

Your Medical Evidence

Filing for your Disability

Disability Eligibility

SSD SSI Definitions

Recent Questions

SSDRC Disability Blog

For Social Security Disability and SSI, What Does It Mean When A person Can Only Do Sedentary Work?

Social Security defines sedentary work as: being able to sit for up to 6 hours in an 8 hour day, and lift up to 10 pounds occasionally. If an individualís residual functional capacity (what they are able to with regard to normal daily activities) is restricted to a full range of sedentary work, they may or may not be approved for disability benefits.

The older an individual is, the better the chance they can be approved for disability if they are limited to a full range of sedentary work. The only way an individual under the age of fifty with a sedentary residual functional capacity can be approved for disability is A) if they are illiterate or unable to communicate in English and B) have performed no work, or have only done unskilled work.

Once an individual is between the ages of fifty and fifty-four, their chances of being approved for disability improve somewhat. Individuals with a high school diploma or more who do not have direct entry into skilled work, who are skilled or semi skilled, but their skills are not transferable to other work, can be found disabled with a residual functional capacity that is limited to sedentary work. Or, a high school graduate or more with no direct entry to skilled work, whose work is unskilled, or they have had no work, may be found disabled if their residual functional capacity is sedentary.

Individuals who are fifty to fifty-four with limited or less education that have worked unskilled jobs, or skilled or semi-skilled jobs whose skills are not transferable, or have not worked at all, may also be approved with a residual functional capacity rating of sedentary.

Generally, individual who are fifty-five years or older who have a residual functional capacity of sedentary can be found disabled unless they performed skilled or semi-skilled work with transferable skills.

This includes individuals who are high school graduates or individuals with limited or less education.

Note: If an individual has job skills that can be transferred to another job, they may be denied disability benefits even if they have a sedentary residual functional capacity. This is because the social security administration does not award disability benefits for SSI or SSD to individuals who have the ability to find other employment if they cannot do their former work.

Return to:  Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions

Related pages:

Strengthening your disability case by providing the details of your work history
What does Social Security Disability Need to Know about your Work History and Jobs?
You Must Give Social Security Disability Your Work History When You Apply
Will Social Security Decide That I can go Back to My Old Job?
What does social security mean by past work?
What does social security mean by other work?
For Social Security Disability and SSI, What Does It Mean When A person Can Only Do Sedentary Work?
How does Social Security Disability Decide if you can Work or Not?
SSI Disability and when a claim is filed

Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions and in these subsections:

Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits | FAQ on Disability Claim Representation | Info about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | FAQ on Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The SSD SSI Decision Process and what gets taken into consideration | Disability hearings before Judges | Medical exams for disability claims | Applying for Disability in various states | Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers | Applying for Disability in North Carolina | Recent articles and answers to questions about SSD and SSI

These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.

Filing for disability - How to file for SSD or SSI and the Information that is needed by Social Security
How to Apply for Disability - What medical conditions can you apply and qualify for?
Applying for Disability - How long does it take to get Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?
What happens if I file a disability application and it is denied by a disability examiner or Judge?
How to Prove you are disabled and qualify to win disability benefits
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition or impairment?
Social Security Disability Back pay and How Long it Takes to Qualify for it and receive it
Social Security Disability SSI - Eligibility Requirements and Qualifications Criteria