Incapacity Determination - PEP Step VI
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Incapacity Determination - PEP Step VI

Revised December 30, 2013

PEP Step VI--Determining level of function of physically impaired individuals in a work environment

WAC 388-447-0080Progressive evaluation process step VI — How does the department determine the impact of a physical impairment on my ability to function in a work setting?

<p>WAC 388-447-0080

WAC 388-447-0080

Effective January 1, 2014

WAC 388-447-0080 Progressive evaluation process step VI — How does the department determine the impact of a physical impairment on my ability to function in a work setting?

In Step VI of the progressive evaluation process (PEP), we review the medical evidence provided and determine how your physical impairment limits your ability to work. This determination is then used in Steps VII and VIII of the PEP to determine your ability to perform either work you have done in the past or other work available in the national economy.

  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 of the time or more.
  2. The following table is used to determine your exertion level. Included in this table is a strength factor, which represents 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


    Lift ten pounds maximum and frequently lift or carry lightweight articles. Walking or standing only for brief periods.



    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.



    Lift fifty pounds maximum and frequently lift or carry up to twenty-five pounds.



    Lift one hundred pounds maximum and frequently lift or carry up to fifty pounds.


  3. "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 you have when determining your ability to work.
  4. "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 is moderate, marked, or severe. All limitations must be substantiated by the medical evidence and directly related to the diagnosed impairment(s).
  5. "Non-exertional physical limitation" means a restriction on work activities that does not affect strength, mobility, agility, or flexibility. Examples are:
    1. Environmental restrictions which may include, among other things, your inability to work in an area where you would be exposed to chemicals; and
    2. Workplace restrictions, such as impaired hearing or speech, which would limit the types of work environments you could work in.

This is a reprint of the official rule as published by the Office of the Code Reviser. If there are previous versions of this rule, they can be found using the Legislative Search page.


Consideration of exertionally-related or non-exertional limitations may be crucial either in eliminating specific types of past work or in accurately assigning the level of work the person can currently perform. Non-exertion limitations may include:

  • Restrictions in seeing or hearing,
  • Allergies,
  • Restrictions in operating dangerous machinery or driving, and
  • Restrictions in working at heights due to dizziness.
Modification Date: December 30, 2013