When applying for Social Security Disability (SSD), it’s important to understand the impact of manipulative limitations. These limitations relate to difficulties with handling, fingering, and feeling due to a disability. This guide explains how these limitations are considered in SSD claims.

Key Social Security Rulings and Regulations

  1. SSR 96-9p on Sedentary Work: Significant manipulative limitations can greatly reduce the range of sedentary work a person can perform. This ruling emphasizes the need for vocational expert testimony in cases where a person’s ability to handle and work with small objects is significantly limited​​.
  2. SSR 85-15 on Reaching and Handling: This ruling details how limitations in reaching, handling, and fingering can impact the range of work a person can do. It states that significant limitations in these areas can eliminate a large number of occupations a person might otherwise be able to perform. The ruling underscores the importance of vocational expert assistance in determining the impact of these limitations​​.

Understanding Exertional and Nonexertional Limitations

  • Exertional Limitations: These refer to limitations in physical strength and include the ability to perform activities like sitting, standing, walking, lifting, carrying, pushing, and pulling.
  • Nonexertional Limitations: These include limitations in mental abilities, sensory functions (like vision and hearing), and manipulative functions such as reaching, handling, fingering, and feeling.

The Impact of Manipulative Limitations on SSD Claims

  • Assessing Work Capacity: The SSA evaluates how manipulative limitations affect an individual’s capacity to perform different types of work, particularly sedentary jobs which often require fine manual dexterity.
  • Vocational Expert Testimony: In cases where manipulative limitations significantly restrict the range of work, vocational expert testimony may be necessary to establish the existence of jobs that the claimant can perform.

Manipulative limitations can significantly affect SSD claims, especially when they restrict the ability to perform sedentary work. Understanding these limitations and how they are evaluated by the SSA is crucial for anyone navigating the SSD claims process. For specific advice, consulting with a disability attorney or an SSA representative is recommended.