Your Doctor And The SSDI Residual Functional Capacity

Posted on: 23 March 2019

Getting approved for Social Security Disability Insurance is not as easy as it should be. When you consider that the people who need the benefit are probably not in the best state of mind due to their disability, the intricacies of the Social Security process can seem nearly impossible. One of the more complicated aspects of getting approved for benefits is the Residual Functional Capacity (RFC). Read on to find how important this assessment is and how to make sure your form results in an approval.

What Is Residual Functional Capacity?

It goes without saying that your impairment makes it difficult to work, but RFC is used by the Social Security Administration (SSA) to determine how much work you are still able to do given your impairment. In other words, just because you have qualifying impairment doesn't mean that you are unable to work at all. The RFC is determined using the information in a form, and the completion of the form can be accomplished in two ways.

Disability Determination Services (DDS)

The major work of evaluating your application for benefits is performed by the DDS, which is a government agency that works alongside the SSA. The DDS assesses the information provided with your application and makes a recommendation to either approve or deny benefits. To help the DDS make this determination, they use an RFC form. The examiner usually refers your case to a medical consultant to make this determination, since claims examiners are not qualified medically to do so. This form asks questions about how long you can stand, walk, carry objects, and more. As you can imagine, the consultant only has the information provided to them in the application and your supporting medical records and never comes in contact directly with you. This often leads to denials, unfortunately.

RFC and Your Doctor

You don't have to leave your determination up to a stranger, however. You can submit the RFC to your own doctor and ask them to assess you in person. Having your doctor perform the RFC evaluation can help your claim be approved because of the following:

1. The SSA places the opinion of your treating doctor on a higher level than any other findings.

2. Your doctor is able to draw a strong connection between your impairment and job tasks based on direct observances rather than speculations.

3. Your medical evidence (your records) are professionally interpreted in a manner that the SSA and administrative law judges recognize and appreciate.

4. Personal comments by your treating doctor about your physical limitations present more compelling proof of your inability to work.

If you have been denied, it is important to seek legal help with your Social Security insurance appeal. Speak to a Social Security attorney at once so that your case can be prepared.