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Sitting and Your Residual Functional Capacity

Social Security and SittingSocial Security and Sitting

If you are called to an SSD hearing, your Livonia Disability lawyer will prepare you for testifying, and will be on hand to support you when you appear before the administrative law judge (ALJ). One area that will be focused on in your hearing is your physical residual functional capacity—your remaining ability to perform basic tasks such as sitting.

You will likely be asked some basic questions about your ability to sit. You may wish to go over this list with your Livonia Disability lawyer prior to the hearing.

The ALJ may ask you:

Ability to sit

  • How long are you able to sit continuously, with one stretch?
  • What is the total amount of time you can sit during an 8-hour work period, with breaks?
  • Can you sit without leaning on your elbows or squirming?
  • Which of these can you sit on/at: a desk? armless office chair? office chair with arms? backless stool? bench? in a position which enables you to work? with arms extended and hands able to hold items such as pens?


  • Do you need help getting up from sitting?
  • Do you have trouble standing at first?
  • How long are you able to sit before you have to get up?
  • How long are you able to stand, lie down, or walk?
  • Do you need to wait a length of time before sitting down once again?


  • If you feel pain which limits your tolerance for sitting, describe the pain:
  1. Intensity on a scale of 1 to 10
  2. Where is the pain located?
  3. Where the pain radiates from and to
  4. Any changes in the pain
  5. Have there been any changes in the pain?
  • Do you need to make accommodations for the pain when you sit, such as elevating your legs?
  • Have you been forced to limit or abandon activities due to the pain, such as driving or riding in a car, eating, watching a program on television, or engaging in recreation?

Your diminished capacity for sitting and performing basic functions will be key testimony in determining whether you are legally disabled enough to collect SSD.

If you have become disabled and wish to file a claim, call a Livonia Disability lawyer for assistance. J.B. Bieske and Jennifer Alfonsi, Attorneys at Law, are available to assist you at (800) 331-3530.

J.B. Bieske & Jennifer Alfonsi, Attorneys at Law

19991 Hall Road, Suite 202
Macomb, MI 48044
Phone: 586-977-8100
Fax: 586-977-8444

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