Top 5 Questions About Disability and RFC Answered
1. What Does the RFC in Disability and RFC Stand For?
The RFC in Disability and RFC stands for Residual Functional Capacity. It is a buzz word often heard when discussing Social Security Disability. The RFC is at its simplest level is the capacity that remains of a person’s ability to work full-time after taking into account a claimant’s physical and/or mental limitations.
2. How Important Is an RFC – The Key to Proving Disability?
An RFC by a treating physician is perhaps the single most important piece of evidence in a claim for Social Security Disability benefits. It is the “Gold Standard” of evidence in is a Social Security Disability Case. The RFC Form should be supported by evidence in the medical file fully and legibly filled out by the Doctor and signed by the Doctor.
3. What Does an RFC Form look Like?
The RFC Form is a paper form stating what limits the person has in lifting walking standing and sitting. Other useful information includes whether the person can lift a weight repetitively and whether the person must rest after certain activities. Many times RFC Forms are specific to the condition that the claimant suffers. For example an RFC Form based on the exertional limitations of a back injury is likely to be different than one for a heart condition. Disabilities based on the nonexertional limitations of mental illness also use a different form than those based on physical limitations.
4. Don’t the Medical Records Speak For Themselves?
Sometimes Doctors believe the medical records “speak for themselves.” This is a fatal error in preparing a disability claim. Limitations must be clearly spelled out by the treating doctor in the “magic” words that fit into the disability regulations. Doctors that think this way are doing a disservice to their patients. Many medical records are incomplete and illegible. Because findings of disability are based on both medical and vocational factors very few medical records actually address the specific requirements of Social Security Disability. Short letters from your Doctor that state: “Claimant is disabled” without cites to evidence in the medical record are of little value.
5. Can I Win If My Doctor Will Not Fill Out an RFC?
If you have serious medical and/or psychological conditions that are fully documented in your medical records you can still win your Social Security Case. But it is much more difficult and you are much more likely to lose than if you had an RFC completed by your treating Doctor. The first step in getting your Doctor to fill out an RFC is: ASK! After asking if the Doctor fails to fill the form out: ASK AGAIN! AND AGAIN. AND AGAIN. Let them know how important their opinion on an RFC Form is to your Disability Claim.
When you have questions about the Disability and RFC get in touch with SocialSecurityCase.com at 855-GO-DISABILITY (855-463-4722). We can help.