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What is residual functional capacity?

On Behalf of | Jul 1, 2022 | SSDI

Applying for Social Security Disability Insurance can be a long and arduous process. The use of unfamiliar terms and acronyms compounds the burden of providing proper documentation.

One acronym that you may be unfamiliar with is RFC: Residual Functional Capacity.

What is residual functional capacity?

Residual functional capacity is the effective amount of capability retained after a person receives a  diagnosis of physical or mental impairment.

Why is RFC important?

RFC is an important part of the Social Security Disability evaluation process. This assessment will determine will help establish if they will qualify for disability and can receive benefits.

Who determines RFC?

A disability examiner will use information from available medical records to evaluate the extent to which a person is physically or mentally limited. Examiners may also contact the claimant and others who may be familiar with their condition, to estimate the effects on their daily life. If the case has already reached the hearing level, a judge will make this determination.

How does the RFC affect the outcome of a disability case?

An evaluator compares the RFC to the type of work the applicant used to do. If the RFC indicates limitations that will prevent a return to any former jobs performed within the past 15 years, they may possibly qualify for disability. However, a disability award is also dependent on not having sufficient training, education, or remaining physical and mental capabilities to learn a new type of work that could accommodate their limitations.

Understanding the residual functional capacity and its effect on your SSDI disability case is crucial to reaching a successful resolution for your disability claim.