By Payroll and Entitlements Editorial Staff
Social Security Ruling 83-10 interprets "medium work" to require standing or walking, off and on, for a total of approximately six hours in an eight-hour workday. Here, the ALJ determined that, based in part on the testimony of a vocational expert (VE) at the hearing, the claimant had the residual functional capacity to perform medium work and was not disabled. On appeal, the claimant argued that the VE’s testimony did not constitute substantial evidence supporting the ALJ’s finding because the ALJ did not specifically mention that he had a six-hour standing and walking limitation in the question put to the VE. The court was not persuaded. "Medium work" is a term of art in disability law with a well-established meaning. Therefore, when the ALJ asked the VE whether jobs existed for a hypothetical individual who was limited to medium work, that question adequately communicated the term’s attendant standing and walking limitations. The testifying VE had significant experience in the field and as an expert witness. There was no reason to think that the VE was not familiar with SSR 83-10 and the agency’s long-standing interpretation of "medium work." Moreover, the claimant’s counsel did not object to the VE’s qualifications or otherwise challenge the testimony at the hearing. Consequently, the VE’s testimony constituted substantial evidence in support of the ALJ’s determination that the claimant was not disabled. The denial of benefits was affirmed (James Terry v. Commr., CA-9, No. 19-56000, 5/28/2021).
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