Saturday, September 16, 2017

Selected Characteristics -- Important Definitions of Physical Demands

We have two or three years left of the Dictionary of Occupational Titles and its primary companion, the Selected Characteristics of Occupations.  While we still have the DOT and its companion(s) as the first listed source of administrative notice in the Social Security disability context, we need to focus on the information available.

So let's look at some definitions that may not be obvious, counter-intuitive, or opaque.  Understanding what the terms mean enhances the ability to examine vocational experts.  We start with the SCO Appendix C - physical demands.
2. Climbing -- includes stairs and ramps and emphasizes activities requiring body agility.
3.  Balancing -- Activities where body equilibrium prevents falling.  
These two are informational.  The intuitive out there already knew them.
4.  Stooping -- bending downward and forward at the waist. 
The definition of stooping means that the phrase "bending and stooping" is both redundant and repetitive.
8.  Reaching -- using one or both hands and arms to extend in any direction.  
This definition of reaching implies that all pushing and pulling require reaching but that not all reaching involves pushing or pulling.
12.  Talking -- expressing oneself to clients or the public.
13.  Hearing -- perceiving the nature of sounds with the ear.   
These categories do not include ordinary communication required in work activity.  Talking is with the public.  Hearing concerns discernment of sound not involved in listening to the speaker.
15.  Near Acuity -- vision at 20 inches or less.
16.  Far Acuity -- vision at 20 feet or more.  
Now we have quantification!
 17.  Depth Perception -- three-dimensional vision.  
It isn't making an educated guess about distance based on size.  It is three-dimensional.
18.  Accommodation -- bringing the eye into sharp focus for near point work.  
Raises questions of near acuity at less than 20/20.
20.  Field of Vision -- perception horizontally and vertically.  
Constricted visual fields that do not meet the blindness listing impact this function.

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