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What Is Residual Functional Capacity in a Social Security Disability Case?

 Posted on September 23, 2021 in Social Security Disability

Dallas County Social Security RFC attorneyWhen applying for Social Security disability benefits, a person will need to provide multiple forms of medical evidence. To determine whether a person is disabled and qualifies for benefits, Social Security will evaluate their residual functional capacity (RFC). Understanding what is meant by this term and how it is determined will ensure that a person can demonstrate that they are disabled and need SSD benefits to help them meet their needs.

Determining Residual Functional Capacity

A person’s residual functional capacity refers to the maximum amount of work they are able to do with the physical or mental limitations they are experiencing. To determine RFC, Social Security will look at a person’s medical records, including those provided by a person’s own doctor as well as reports from medical examinations from independent doctors. Social Security may also consider a person’s own explanation of their limitations and how their conditions have affected them, as well as statements from family members, friends, or others who may be able to provide insight into the case.

An RFC determination will address a person’s abilities in the following areas:

  • Physical - Social Security will look at whether a person’s health conditions have affected their ability to perform physical activities. This may include whether they are unable to lift or carry items above a certain weight, whether they can walk or stand for long periods of time, whether they experience pain or discomfort when sitting or remaining in the same position while working, and whether they can bend over, kneel, crawl, or reach for objects.

  • Mental - A person’s ability to carry out instructions while working or interact with others will be considered. Social Security will consider whether a person is unable to understand and remember instructions, whether they can follow directions, and whether they are able to speak and respond appropriately to coworkers, managers, or customers. A person’s ability to maintain a consistent and steady pace of work will also be considered.

  • Other - Social Security may take a number of other factors into account, including how impairments to vision or hearing may affect a person’s ability to work, whether conditions such as irritation of the skin or lungs may cause them to be unable to work in certain environments, or whether issues such as epilepsy or seizures may affect them during their work.

RFC will be used to determine whether a person is able to do any forms of relevant work they had done in the past. If a person is unable to work in jobs they had previously held, Social Security will look at whether they have the RFC to perform other types of jobs that they should be able to find based on positions available in the United States. If a person does not have the RFC to find appropriate work, they will be considered disabled, and they will qualify for benefits.

Contact Our Collin County Social Security Disability Application Attorneys

The Law Offices of Coats & Todd provides legal help to those who are applying for disability benefits through Social Security, and we also help applicants appeal the denial of disability claims. We will make sure your residual functional capacity is evaluated correctly, and we will work to ensure that you will be able to receive the benefits you need. Contact our Dallas SSD benefits lawyers at 972-671-9922 to set up your free case evaluation.



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