What Is Residual Functional Capacity (RFC)?

RFC is what SSA uses to determine your physical and mental abilities and ultimately, your eligibility to receive disability benefits.

Blocks on table that spell RFC

In order to determine if you are disabled under their rules, the Social Security Administration (SSA) must first determine your current abilities. Considering all physical and mental limitations due to your disability, what are you able (or not able) to do? Throughout the disability determination process, you can have your doctor complete a Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) assessment, or Disability Determination Services (DDS) will complete the RFC based on your medical records.

There are two types of RFC assessments: physical and mental.


Physical RFC Assessment

The physical assessment asks questions regarding your physical restrictions and exertional limitations. These include your ability to lift, sit, stand, walk, hold, push, and pull. How much weight can you carry? How long are you able to stand before needing to sit down? The assessment also determines your exertional requirement classification. Are you able to complete what SSA considers sedentary, light, medium, heavy, or very heavy work? These questions help DDS and Administrative Law Judges (ALJ) determine if you are disabled under SSA’s rules.

Mental RFC Assessment

The mental assessment asks questions regarding mental restrictions and non-exertional limitations. These include your ability to understand, concentrate, and adapt in a work environment, as well as your ability to interact socially. Specific questions regarding these areas will be rated. The assessment rates these limitations as none, mild, moderate, marked or extreme. Generally, mental limitations must be "marked" or "extreme" in order to be considered disabling under Social Security’s rules.

If you would like your doctor to complete an RFC assessment to evaluate your conditions, contact us now. We look forward to helping you!

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