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Chicago Social Security Disability Assessment Attorney

There are multiple different conditions that can affect a person's ability to work and earn enough money to support themselves and their family. Fortunately, disability benefits are available through Social Security for those who are totally disabled. However, demonstrating that a condition is severe enough to be considered a total disability is not always easy, especially for mental conditions that are not always outwardly obvious. 

One issue that will often play a significant role in these cases is a person's residual functional capacity, or RFC. The RFC is basically a measure of what a person can still do, despite their condition. It is important to note that the RFC does not consider whether or not a person can actually find work; rather, it focuses on whether they would be able to perform work if they were given the opportunity. By understanding the factors considered by Social Security when evaluating a person's mental functional capacity, an applicant for disability benefits can make sure they meet the required criteria.


On August 15, 2022, the Social Security Administration SSA added 12 new Compassionate Allowance (CAL) conditions. The conditions are:

  • Angioimmunoblastic T-cell Lymphoma,
  • Blastic Plasmacytoid Dendritic Cell Neoplasm,
  • Gerstmann-Straussler-Scheinker Disease,
  • Microvillus Inclusion Disease – Child,
  • Mowat-Wilson Syndrome,
  • Myelodysplastic Syndrome with Excess Blasts,
  • NUT Carcinoma,
  • Pfeiffer Syndrome – Types II and III,
  • Pontocerebellar Hypoplasia,
  • Posterior Cortical Atrophy,
  • Renal Amyloidosis – AL Type,
  • Sarcomatoid Mesothelioma.

Per the SSA press release, “The Compassionate Allowances program quickly identifies claims where the applicant’s condition or disease clearly meets Social Security’s statutory standard for disability. Due to the severe nature of many of these conditions, these claims are often allowed based on medical confirmation of the diagnosis alone. To date, more than 800,000 people with severe disabilities have been approved through this accelerated, policy compliant disability process, which has grown to a total of 266 conditions.”

The complete list of Compassionate Allowances (CAL) conditions can be viewed on SSA’s website.


Chicago Social Security Disability LawyerIf you have a physical impairment that has made it impossible for you to find or maintain employment, you may be able to receive government benefits to address your disability. These benefits are provided through the Social Security Administration. Social Security disability benefits are based on your inability to work due to your medical condition. In order to qualify for Social Security disability, you must prove that you cannot maintain gainful employment because of your limitations. 

One way that Social Security evaluates whether you are capable of working is through a residual functional capacity (RFC) assessment. This is an evaluation of what you can still do despite your limitations. The purpose of the residual functional capacity assessment is to determine the level of work you are still able to engage in on a regular and continuing basis. It is important to understand the factors that are considered in an assessment and how the findings of an assessment may affect your Social Security disability case.

Evaluations of Physical Capabilities

An assessment of an applicant's physical abilities may be performed by a doctor or other medical professional. They may review medical records and other documentation, and they may observe the applicant, get information about their symptoms, and discuss reports of the person's daily activities. An assessment will look at the following:


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