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How Does Residual Functional Capacity Affect an SSD Claim?

Posted on in Social Security Disability

Chicago Social Security Disability LawyerA serious illness or injury can affect a person in many ways, and the issues related to a person’s condition may make it difficult or impossible to maintain employment and earn enough income to meet their ongoing needs. Those who have experienced major health issues that have lasted or will last for at least one year may be able to receive disability benefits through Social Security. When applying for Social Security disability, a variety of factors will be considered to determine whether a person’s condition meets the qualifications to be considered a total disability. Residual functional capacity (RFC) is one issue that can play an important role during these considerations.

What Is Residual Functional Capacity?

Social Security uses a five-step process to determine whether a person is eligible for disability benefits. After looking at whether a person is currently working and the severity of their condition, Social Security will evaluate the person’s ability to perform work they had done in the past or other types of work. The maximum amount of work a person can perform based on their limitations is known as their residual functional capacity. 

When assessing RFC, Social Security will look at a person’s ability to perform work-related tasks on a regular and continuing basis during a full-time work schedule. If a person has sufficient RFC that will allow them to work 40 hours per week or to maintain gainful employment while working less than full time, they will generally not be considered to be disabled.

An RFC assessment will look at multiple ways that a person’s condition has placed limitations on the types of work they can perform. A person’s physical abilities will be assessed, including whether they have limitations on actions such as standing, walking, sitting in one place for extended periods of time, lifting and carrying items of different weights, performing manipulative functions such as reaching for items, or postural functions such as crouching or stooping. A person’s mental abilities and non-exertional capacity will also be assessed by looking at their ability to see properly, communicate with others, listen to and carry out instructions, and manage the pressures of a work environment. Other issues may also be considered, such as whether a person’s condition affects their ability to work in certain environments.

After evaluating a person, Social Security may determine that they have the ability to perform certain types of work based on their limitations. For example, Social Security may find that a person can perform light work that is limited to certain types of actions and movements. Social Security will then determine whether a person’s RFC will allow them to perform work they had done previously or whether they may be able to find other forms of full-time employment that will fit within the specified limitations.

Contact Our Chicago Social Security Disability Claim Lawyer

The determination of a person’s residual functional capacity can play a significant role in decisions about Social Security disability benefits. Attorney Jonathan Pearson can help disability applicants submit the correct information to ensure that all evidence is considered correctly when determining RFC. He can advocate on a person’s behalf throughout the process of applying for SSD benefits, and if necessary, he can help appeal the denial of benefits and ensure that a person will receive the financial assistance they need. To get legal help with your case, contact our Illinois Social Security disability application attorney at 312-999-0999 and arrange a complimentary consultation.





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