What is Residual Functional Capacity and How Can It Affect My SSD Claim?

Social Security Disability Claims can be confusing, so contacting a Social Security lawyer is ultimately your best chance at filing a successful claim. There are many nuances, like the residual functional capacity, that can affect your claim. Educating yourself about all the possible outcomes before starting with your claim can help you know what to expect.

What is the Residual Functional Capacity?

Effective since 1996, the Social Security Administration enforced the residual functional capacity policy, which is a factor you must consider before submitting your SSD claim.

Your eligibility for Social Security Disability benefits is, unfortunately, not only based on the existence of a disability. This disability must also prevent you from working. The Social Security Administration will only consider you disabled and eligible for benefits if you are unable to carry out standard work-related activities.

The residual functional capacity is the term used by the Social Security Administration that explains which continuous work activities you can still carry out during a standard 40-hour work week following your disability diagnosis. SSA examiners will take all your conditions into consideration, mental and physical.

For mental disabilities, the ratings range from unskilled to skilled. If you are deemed less than unskilled, the SSA believes you do not have the proper mental capacity for your job. Physical abilities are ranked from sedentary to very heavy. A heavy physical ability ranking means you do not suffer from any physical disabilities and can carry out work activities like normal.

Standard physical work activities include sitting, standing, walking, lifting, carrying, reaching, and bending over. The ability to read, remember repeating procedures, and follow directions are considered the necessary mental abilities needed to work.

Can it Negatively Affect My Claim?

Yes. If the Social Security Administration determines you can still perform your former job without any problems caused directly by your disability, your claim will be denied.

If the SSA believes you cannot continue working at your previous job, they will conduct research into whether you could effectively carry out tasks for any another position. During this research, your age, level of education, available skill set, and previous work experience will be taken into consideration. If a potential fit is found, your claim will also be denied.

However, if it is determined that you cannot work due to your disability, your claim will be successful, and you will begin to receive monthly SSD benefits.

How can a Social Security Lawyer help?

A Social Security lawyer can assist in the SSD claims process since they know the common reasons why claims are denied and how to avoid them. Many social security benefits lawyers advise that you describe your disability in terms of your residual functional capacity directly on your initial application. The standard procedure does not directly reference your residual functional capacity until your appeals hearing.

This means that instead of providing a general description of your diagnosis, clearly explain how your disability prevents you from completing the necessary tasks at your workplace, whether it be in a physical or mental capacity.

social security disability lawyers

If you were not working alongside social security disability lawyers during your application process, and your claim was denied, contact an attorney as soon as possible. They can help you restructure your claim for a higher chance of approval. Many people are denied following their initial application, especially if they attempted to represent themselves, so there is no reason to worry. Just because your initial or first few applications are denied does not mean you will never receive benefits.

If you are located in Michigan and are ready to apply for SSD benefits or currently find yourself in the appeals process, contact Cochran, Kroll & Associates at 1-866-MICH LAW (1-866-642-4529) for a free consultation today.

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