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.

Vocational Therapy


Related Terms

  • Rehabilitative Employment
  • Vocational Counseling
  • Vocational Rehabilitation

Specialists

  • Clinical Psychologist
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Physiatrist (Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Specialist)
  • Physical Therapist
  • Psychiatrist
  • Vocational Counselor

Comorbid Conditions

  • Alcohol or substance abuse disorders
  • Cardiopulmonary disease
  • Obesity
  • Psychiatric disorders
  • Severe depression

Factors Influencing Duration

There is no disability associated with vocational therapy itself. The only factors influencing the length of disability are dictated by the underlying condition that prompted therapy.

Medical Codes

ICD-9-CM:
93.85 - Vocational Therapy; Sheltered Employment; Vocational: Assessment, Retraining, Training

Overview

Vocational therapy is often used in combination with a structured (occupational or physical therapy) rehabilitation program and is designed to enable individuals with limitations in their mental or physical function to resume productive employment. Individuals who have experienced impairment in their functional level due to illness or injury may require vocational therapy to allow them to return to work. Vocational therapy works with individuals and their new physical or mental status to find an appropriate occupational match.

Vocational therapy involves an assessment phase where the individual's skills and aptitudes are evaluated through tests, which is an integral part of vocational therapy. These tests may take several forms and are used to assess an individual's general intelligence level and his or her aptitude, interests, and work skills. For example, an individual's performance in a series of standardized tests may be compared to a list of essential aptitudes that are grouped by occupations and listed in the Dictionary of Occupational Titles. If a match is obtained and the individual is willing, a job search may be initiated. Another method often used to assess an individual's vocational needs may be a work sample measure. This test measures characteristics such as eye, hand, and foot coordination; dexterity; and spatial discrimination abilities.

Following completion of the assessment phase, a list of goals is developed and the requirements of specific jobs are assessed. Finally, a determination is made as to whether the individual has the aptitude and skill necessary for a particular job of interest or whether additional training is required. Should additional training be required, the vocational therapist helps determine the types of training necessary.

Vocational training may involve business or vocational instruction, college or university education, and on-the-job training. If the individual qualifies, as in the case of veterans, state and/or federal funds may be used to pay for this training. Additionally, many employers participate in programs that use both state and private funds to cover the wages of the individual in training.

Vocational therapy may also involve re-training. Re-training in computers for example, may be essential for success in today's job market. As such, individuals who have lost jobs as a result of company downsizing, industry elimination, or whose skills are now obsolete are candidates for vocational therapy. Finally, structured workshops are also common methods of training individuals with severe disabilities. These workshops focus on topics such as money management, communication skills, and appropriate business attire.

Source: Medical Disability Advisor



Reason for Procedure

Vocational therapy is used to help an individual develop skills that can be used to obtain employment, maintain income, and achieve some measure of financial stability and self-esteem through regular work. In order to maintain employment, individuals may need to acquire new skills because of a progressive illness such as rheumatoid arthritis, an injury that changes functional level such as a spinal cord injury, or an injury that changes physical work tolerance such as a herniated disc. Vocational therapists may direct these individuals to technical or college courses.

Vocational therapy can also help individuals with new physical or emotional needs find new employment settings. For example, individuals with psychological illnesses such as schizophrenia may need to gain employment in settings with low distractibility levels. In addition, vocational therapy can help locate part-time job opportunities within the same field for those who cannot tolerate full-time employment but for whom part-time work is a viable option.

Source: Medical Disability Advisor



How Procedure is Performed

Vocational counselors first ascertain an individual's abilities through intelligence testing, aptitude testing, job skill level, and physical skill level. Counselors help an individual choose career paths that are suited to their interests and abilities. Vocational counselors may consult with other therapy disciplines to ensure that the work being pursued is within the physical and mental capabilities of the individual. Once career paths are chosen, the vocational counselor prepares the individual for job re-entry through simulated interviews, résumé and job application workshops, and job re-training (college courses, technical courses, trade school). Vocational counselors also address any concerns the individual may have about entering a new field or a new job description within their original profession.

Source: Medical Disability Advisor



Prognosis

Individuals can reasonably be expected to re-enter a new profession via vocational counseling. However, vocational counseling may be less successful for individuals with decreased motivation.

Source: Medical Disability Advisor



Ability to Work (Return to Work Considerations)

An individual's employer may need to provide transportation to and from job re-training. Additionally, work hours may need to be adjusted to accommodate for college or technical classes. If work hours cannot be adjusted, the individual may require leave from the current position. Employers may also need to provide funding for classes to allow continued employment.

The ability to work is dependent on the diagnosis or condition for which the vocational therapy is provided. Because vocational therapy does not interfere with voluntary function, the individual's ability to perform tasks is dependent upon the underlying condition and the limitations that result from that condition.

Source: Medical Disability Advisor



Maximum Medical Improvement

30 days.

Source: Medical Disability Advisor



References

General

Beers, Mark H., and Robert Berkow, eds. The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy. 17th ed. Merck and Company, Inc., 2004.

Source: Medical Disability Advisor






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