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PDFWAC 388-449-0030

How does the department evaluate functional capacity for physical impairments?

If you have a physical impairment, we evaluate your ability to work based on objective medical evidence from a medical professional as described in WAC 388-449-0010. We may also use other evidence as described in WAC 388-449-0010.
(1) "Exertion level" means having strength, flexibility, and mobility to lift, carry, stand or walk as needed to fulfill job duties in the following work levels. For this section, "occasionally" means less than one-third of the time and "frequently" means one-third to two-thirds of the time.
The following table is used to determine your exertion level. Included in this table is a strength factor, which is your ability to perform physical activities, as defined in Appendix C of the Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT), Revised Edition, published by the U.S. Department of Labor as posted on the Occupational Information Network (O*NET).
If you are able to:
Then we assign this exertion level
(a) Lift ten pounds maximum and frequently lift or carry lightweight articles. Walking or standing only for brief periods.
(b) Lift twenty pounds maximum and frequently lift or carry objects weighing up to ten pounds. Walk six out of eight hours per day or stand during a significant portion of the workday. Sitting and using pushing or pulling arm or leg movements most of the day.
(c) Lift fifty pounds maximum and frequently lift or carry up to twenty-five pounds.
(d) Lift one hundred pounds maximum and frequently lift or carry up to fifty pounds.
(2) "Exertional limitation" means a restriction in mobility, agility or flexibility in the following twelve activities: balancing, bending, climbing, crawling, crouching, handling, kneeling, pulling, pushing, reaching, sitting, and stooping. We consider any exertional limitations when we determine your ability to work.
(3) "Functional physical capacity" means the degree of strength, agility, flexibility, and mobility you can apply to work-related activities. We consider the effect of the physical impairment on the ability to perform work-related activities when the severity of the physical impairment(s) is moderate, marked, or severe. We determine functional physical capacity based on your exertional and nonexertional limitations. All limitations must be substantiated the medical evidence and directly related to the diagnosed impairment(s).
(4) "Nonexertional physical limitation" means a restriction on work activities that does not affect strength, mobility, agility, or flexibility. Nonexertional restrictions may include, among other things, your inability to work at heights or in an area where you would be exposed to chemicals.
(5) "Functional limitations" means a restriction on work activities related to unrelieved pain or the effects of prescribed medication. We determine your functional limitations based on objective documentation from a medical professional as described in WAC 388-449-0010. We may also use other evidence as described in WAC 388-449-0010. We evaluate functioning by assessing your ability to:
(a) Perform activities within a schedule, maintain regular attendance, and be punctual within customary tolerances.
(b) Perform routine tasks without undue supervision.
(c) Make simple work-related decisions.
(d) Be aware of normal hazards and take appropriate precautions.
(e) Ask simple questions or request assistance.
(f) Maintain appropriate behavior in a work setting.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.005, 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.04.510, 74.08.090, 74.08A.100, 74.04.770, 74.04.0052, 74.04.655, 74.08.043, 74.08.335, and 2011 1st sp.s. c 36. WSR 12-10-042, ยง 388-449-0030, filed 4/27/12, effective 6/1/12.]
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