What does Light Work mean?
Light work is defined by the Social Security Administration as work which requires "sitting up to 2 hours in an 8 hour day, standing 6 hours in an 8 hour day and lifting 20 pounds occasionally and 10 pounds frequently."
Under the SSA medical vocational process the SSA will determine the work exertion level for past and present jobs performed by the SSDI or SSI claimant. Specifically, jobs are categorized as sedentary, light, medium, heavy, and very heavy work. If the SSA determines the claimant no longer has the residual functional capacity to perform their past or current job they may determine if they have the ability to retrain for new work.
If a claimant was performing light work, due to their physical condition, they may no longer have this ability. If this is true, the SSA would determine if they could perform sedentary work, which requires a worker to lift no more than 10 pounds at a time and walk no more than 2 hours in an eight hour workday. If the SSA determines a worker could retrain for sedentary work they would be denied SSDI or SSI benefits.