Understanding Residual Functional Capacity And Social Security Benefits

Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) is a term used in the context of determining Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. It refers to the remaining abilities and limitations that a person has despite their medical condition or disability.

When assessing an SSDI claim, the Social Security Administration (SSA) evaluates your RFC to determine your ability to work. They consider both your physical and mental capabilities and assess how these limitations affect your capacity to perform work-related activities.

How RFC is Determined

To determine your RFC, the SSA reviews your medical records, consultative exam results, and other evidence provided. They consider factors such as your ability to stand, walk, sit, lift, carry, and perform other physical tasks. Additionally, they assess your cognitive abilities, concentration, memory, and emotional stability.

The RFC evaluation process helps the SSA determine what types of jobs, if any, you may still be able to perform despite your impairments. If your RFC indicates that you are unable to perform your past work or any other work available in the national economy, considering your age, education, and work experience, you may be eligible for SSDI benefits.

How RFC Affects Your Case

  • The RFC assessment allows the SSA to evaluate your ability to perform work-related activities despite your impairments. It helps them understand the extent to which your medical condition limits your physical and mental capabilities.
  • To qualify for SSDI benefits, you must demonstrate that you have a severe impairment that prevents you from engaging in substantial gainful activity (SGA). The RFC evaluation plays a significant role in determining whether you meet this criterion.
  • The SSA considers your RFC, along with other factors like your age, education, and work experience, to determine if there are any jobs you can still perform despite your limitations. If the SSA determines that you can perform other work, it may affect your eligibility for SSDI benefits.
  • The RFC assessment helps the SSA match your residual functional capacity with available job opportunities in the national economy. They consider whether your RFC aligns with the physical and mental demands of different types of jobs.
  • The RFC evaluation provides a framework for the SSA to evaluate the medical evidence and opinions provided by healthcare professionals. It helps them understand the functional limitations and restrictions caused by your medical condition.

The RFC issue can seem confusing to applicants, and it is. Count on a Social Security lawyer to smooth the way and support you when your RFC is in question.

Contact a local Social Security Disability lawyer in your area to learn more.