Residual Functional Capacity: Evaluating Your Ability to Work

October 16, 2015
Dayes Law Firm

To determine if you are able to work, the Social Security Administration (SSA) must determine the level to which your disability limits your activities. Through a residual functional capacity (RFC) assessment, the SSA will evaluate if you are able to perform the work that you previously did or if you can do any other kind of work.

The SSA will have to determine if you are only able to sit and work, if you can walk or stand for several hours, or if you can perform more laborious work.

What is an RFC Assessment?

A disability claims examiner will work with a medical consultant at the Disability Determination Services (DDS) to evaluate your medical records and identify the restrictions your condition places on the jobs that you can do.

An RFC assessment will determine if you are able to perform one of the following categories of work.

  • Sedentary work This means you can lift no more than 10 pounds. Sedentary jobs require sitting the majority of the time, but can require occasional standing and walking.
  • Light work In order to perform light work, you should be able to occasionally lift 20 pounds or carry 10 pounds for a longer period of time. Light work requires frequent walking and standing and an ability to push or pull objects.
  • Medium work To perform this level of work, you should be able to lift 50 pounds and carry 25 pounds.
  • Heavy work This means that you should be able to lift 100 pounds and carry 50 pounds.

By looking at your previous 15 years of work, the SSA will determine if you are able to perform work in your skill set or if there is another type of work you can perform. If your previous positions have been sedentary, and you have are found to have a residual functional capacity of sedentary or higher, it may be determined that you should be able to return to work, depending on other restrictions.

A mental RFC and non-exertional restrictions will be considered as well.

The SSA will make sure that you are able to sustain full-time work by attending work regularly, not requiring frequent breaks and being productive while at work.

If your claim for Social Security disability benefits has been denied, Dayes Law Firm PC can appeal your claim and help you get the benefits you need.

Call 1-800-503-2000 for a free consultation today and learn more about your options from a Phoenix Social Security Disability lawyer.