Social Security evaluates Disability claims based upon how a person can function. The Social Security Administrations (SSA) calls this “Residual Functional Capacity” or the shorthand “RFC.”
RFC is what an individual can still do despite his or her limitations.
SSA uses RFC to decide if a person can work. It must determine what a person can do even with various limitations and restrictions. In Social Security Ruling 96-8p, SSA explains: “Ordinarily, RFC is the individual’s maximum remaining ability to do sustained work activities in an ordinary work setting on a regular and continuing basis…A “regular and continuing basis” means 8 hours a day, for 5 days a week, or an equivalent work schedule. RFC does not represent the least an individual can do despite his or her limitations or restrictions, but the most.”
Social Security uses RFC to determine whether a person can do their past work or any other work that may fit within their age, education and skill group. For example, if a person has the RFC to sit for no more than 4 hours per day, then they cannot do a seated job (called ‘sedentary work’).
How do you show SSA what your RFC is? You and your doctors need to explain what your restrictions and limitations are. Tell SSA how you are limited with things like:
- bending over
- reaching up
Mental and Other Non-Physical Limitations:
- talking to others
- controlling your emotions (for example, getting angry or crying)
- sticking with things
- sticking with and finishing tasks
- how pain impacts you
To have the best chance of winning your Social Security Disability claim, tell SSA about any restrictions and limitations you may have. Be specific. Tell them how many minutes you can do something or how many maximum pounds you can lift. Do not use general statements. For more about how to do that, go to DISABILITY BENEFIT TIP OF THE WEEK: Filling Out Forms.
Do you need a Social Security Disability Attorney? Call John Tucker at (866) 282-5260.