When applying for disability benefits based on a hand impairment, it is just as important to focus on the difficulty with manipulating objects as it is with lifting and carrying objects. That is especially true when seeking Social Security Disability (“SSD”) benefits because of a special ruling which provides that, “Most unskilled sedentary jobs require good use of both hands and the fingers; i.e., bilateral manual dexterity .... for repetitive hand-finger actions.”
If there is any significant manipulative limitation of an individual's ability to handle and work with small objects with both hands, then it will result in a significant erosion of the unskilled sedentary occupational base. The significant limitation should result in a finding of disability, or at least require the Social Security Administration to support a denial with vocational testimony. The stronger the manipulative limitation, the stronger the chance the claim will be approved.