Your residual functioning capacity (RFC) is what you can still do, both physically and mentally, despite your medical problems.  Social Security considers all of the evidence in your case to estimate your RFC.  This evidence includes your medical records, your testimony, and written statements in your application and other disability forms.

An RFC is a set of physical and mental limitations.  Social Security determines whether you are limited in the following areas:

  • Sitting, standing, and walking for long periods of time
  • Lifting and carrying weight
  • Climbing, balancing, stooping, kneeling, crouching, and crawling
  • Using your hands to work with objects
  • Vision, hearing, and speaking
  • Maintaining concentration
  • Understanding and following instructions
  • Adapting to changes in the workplace
  • Interacting with other people

These are just examples, and your RFC should include all of your limitations caused by your medical conditions.  For example, if your conditions cause you to miss work twice a month then that limitation is part of your RFC.

Social Security decides whether the limitations in your RFC would prevent you from doing your past work or other work.   This makes your RFC a very, very important part of your case.  The disability judge is required to consider all of your medical conditions before estimating your RFC, but don’t leave it up to them.  Make sure they are aware of all of your conditions and how each one affects you.

Post a comment below to share your thoughts on this subject or ask us a question, we encourage you to be part of the Living with a Disability community.

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