Once all medical evidence has been reviewed, the Social Security Administration (SSA) may request a Residual Functional Capacity evaluation when you apply for disability in Denver. The purpose of an RFC is to thoroughly consider the limitations of a person’s disability and their ability to meet the physical, mental, sensory, and other functional requirements of the workplace.
What’s Included in the SSA’s RFC Forms?
Depending on the conditions that are being presented in the disability application, a claimant may need one or both RFC forms to represent their physical and mental limitations.
The SSA’s Physical Residual Functional Capacity Assessment form poses questions about a person’s lifting/carrying capacity; their tolerance for standing, walking, or sitting; and their postural, visual, manipulative, environmental, and communicative limitations. Every step along the way, the conclusions noted in the RFC must be answered in accordance with the medical evidence on file (clinical findings, symptoms, observations, etc.).
The SSA’s Mental Residual Functional Capacity Assessment includes questions relating to a person’s mental fitness for work. The form includes questions regarding the claimant’s understanding and memory; sustained concentration and persistence; social interaction; and adaptation abilities. As with the Physical RFC, all conclusions found in the assessment must be based on the medical evidence provided in the claimant’s application.
How the SSA Interprets the RFC Forms
The Social Security Administration will use the information found in a claimant’s RFC form(s) to determine what type of work, if any, they can perform.
- Exertional levels. There are five exertional levels designated by the SSA: sedentary, light, medium, heavy, or very heavy. These relate to a claimant’s ability to physically lift certain weights or stand for periods of time.
- Non-exertional levels. Many of the questions on the SSA’s RFC form are intended to cover ‘non-exertional’ limitations, such as regular headaches, nausea, depression, or vision impairment.
Who Can Fill in My RFC?
Disability Determination Services (DDS), which are state agencies funded by the U.S. federal government, are often involved in the processing of RFC forms. What many claimants don’t realize is that they can request to have their own treating physician fill out an RFC form instead. This can be a benefit to the applicant, as their own doctor will have a first-hand understanding of their condition. Provided that the physician has taken care to document the applicant’s limitations over a period of time, their medical opinion will carry weight when it comes to the ultimate determination of benefits.
We Can Help You Apply for Disability in Denver
The disability benefits system is complex and often intimidating for those who are unfamiliar with the law. Working with a qualified attorney when you apply for disability in Denver can help improve your chances at approval. Our attorney can help you every step of the way, including with an appeal if you have already made your initial application. Contact us today to request a free consultation.