Sedentary Work Exerting up to 10 pounds (4.5 kg) of force occasionally and/or a negligible amount of force frequently or constantly to lift, carry, push, pull, or otherwise move objects, including the human body. Sedentary work involves sitting most of the time, but may involve walking or standing for brief periods of time. Jobs are sedentary if walking and standing are required only occasionally and other sedentary criteria are met.

Light Work Exerting up to 20 pounds (9.1 kg) of force occasionally and/or up to 10 pounds (4.5 kg) of force frequently, and/or negligible amount of force constantly to move objects. Physical demand requirements are in excess of those for Sedentary Work. Light Work usually requires walking or standing to a significant degree. However, if the use of the arm and/or leg controls requires exertion of forces greater than that for Sedentary Work and the worker sits most the time, the job is rated Light Work.

Medium Work Exerting up to 50 (22.7 kg) pounds of force occasionally, and/or up to 25 pounds (11.3 kg) of force frequently, and/or up to 10 pounds (4.5 kg) of forces constantly to move objects.

Heavy Work Exerting up to 100 pounds (45.4 kg) of force occasionally, and/or up to 50 pounds (22.7 kg) of force frequently, and/or in excess of 20 pounds (9.1 kg) of force constantly to move objects.

Very Heavy Work Exerting in excess of 100 pounds (45.4 kg) of force occasionally, and/or in excess of 50 pounds (22.7 kg) of force frequently, and/or in excess of 20 pounds (9.1 kg) of force constantly to move objects.

Job Classification

In most duration tables, five job classifications are displayed. These job classifications are based on the amount of physical effort required to perform the work. The classifications correspond to the Strength Factor classifications described in the United States Department of Labor's Dictionary of Occupational Titles. The following definitions are quoted directly from that publication.

Sedentary Work Exerting up to 10 pounds (4.5 kg) of force occasionally and/or a negligible amount of force frequently or constantly to lift, carry, push, pull, or otherwise move objects, including the human body. Sedentary work involves sitting most of the time, but may involve walking or standing for brief periods of time. Jobs are sedentary if walking and standing are required only occasionally and other sedentary criteria are met.

Light Work Exerting up to 20 pounds (9.1 kg) of force occasionally and/or up to 10 pounds (4.5 kg) of force frequently, and/or negligible amount of force constantly to move objects. Physical demand requirements are in excess of those for Sedentary Work. Light Work usually requires walking or standing to a significant degree. However, if the use of the arm and/or leg controls requires exertion of forces greater than that for Sedentary Work and the worker sits most the time, the job is rated Light Work.

Medium Work Exerting up to 50 (22.7 kg) pounds of force occasionally, and/or up to 25 pounds (11.3 kg) of force frequently, and/or up to 10 pounds (4.5 kg) of forces constantly to move objects.

Heavy Work Exerting up to 100 pounds (45.4 kg) of force occasionally, and/or up to 50 pounds (22.7 kg) of force frequently, and/or in excess of 20 pounds (9.1 kg) of force constantly to move objects.

Very Heavy Work Exerting in excess of 100 pounds (45.4 kg) of force occasionally, and/or in excess of 50 pounds (22.7 kg) of force frequently, and/or in excess of 20 pounds (9.1 kg) of force constantly to move objects.

Hodgkin's Disease


Ability to Work (Return to Work Considerations)

Individuals with Hodgkin's disease will experience high levels of fatigue with normal levels of physical exertion. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy can cause additional weakness and fatigue. Also, individuals who have exploratory abdominal surgery (laparotomy) may require more sedentary, nonphysical work for a period of time. Heavy physical labor is usually restricted following surgery (laparotomy), chemotherapy, and/or radiation therapy treatments. Work responsibilities may need to be modified until recovery is complete.

Risk: According to "Work Ability and Return to Work," "Risk in cancer survivors may be due to chemotherapy. If there is physical exam or electrodiagnostic test evidence of chemotherapy associated peripheral neuropathy, balance may fbe impaired, and restrictions that would prevent climbing to heights may be indicated. If corticosteroids or chemotherapy have resulted in osteoporosis, restrictions to prevent pathologic fracture may be indicated (including limited climbing to heights and limited heavy lifting). As long as immune system suppression exists after treatment, patients should be restricted from working with sick animals or humans and from fungal exposure (e.g. gardening)" (page 406).

Capacity: According to "Work Ability and Return to Work," "Patients may have residual myopathy after chemotherapy, and functional testing may be indicated to quantitate residual functional capacity. Some chemotherapy agents have cardiac and pulmonary toxicity, and treadmill testing of exercise ability may be helpful to establish current ability. Similarly, some cancer surgery (eg, pneumonectomy) will decrease cardiopulmonary function (capacity for work or exercise). Similarly, anemia may be significant during and after chemotherapy, and treadmill exercise testing can give both the physician and the patient an idea about exercise or work capacity" (pages 406-407).

Tolerance: The reader is strongly encouraged to read Chapter 21 of "Work Ability and Return to Work" as tolerance issues tend to predominate, especially after normal expected surgical healing. Chemotherapy can have effects on functioning, which limits tolerance for the work environment. Ideally, reduced work hours may accommodate that limitation while creating a permissive environment for eventual return to full time work. According to "Work Ability and Return to Work," "Patients undergoing chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy typically have symptoms like nausea, diarrhea, and fatigue that are clearly due to their treatment, and in Western society these symptoms are traditionally judged to be severe enough to justify certification of work absence during the active phase of cancer treatment. Despite these symptoms, many of the self-employed and uninsured return to work" (page 407).

Accommodations: Reduced hours of work and reduction in heavy physical demands may permit return to limited duty work during radiation and/or chemotherapy.

Source: Medical Disability Advisor