Of all the documents you have to complete to apply for Social Security disability benefits, the residual functional capacity form might be the most important. The form helps to paint the picture about how your disability has impacted your ability to work. If you are applying for disability benefits, here is what you need to know about the form.
What Is the Residual Functional Capacity Form?
The residual functional capacity form, or RFC, helps to determine what functions you can still do even though you have an impairment. The form assesses both your physical and mental limitations when it comes to working. Your RFC should be completed by your health care provider.
When completing the form, your doctor will determine your exertion level of work you can perform. The exertion level can range from sedentary to heavy. The level is based on what physical actions you can perform, such as lifting and carrying objects.
In addition to assessing your exertion level, your doctor has to also rate your non-exertional level. The non-exertional focuses on those tasks you can complete without having to use any strength. For instance, whether or not you can use your fingers to type would be considered non-exertional.
If your application for disability benefits is based on mental illness, your doctor will assess your mental functioning and how it can impact your ability to work. For instance, factors such as whether or not you are able to interact with others socially, concentrate for periods of time, and tolerate stress are considered.
What Can You Do to Help Your Doctor?
Although your doctor is charged with completing the RFC form, there are things you can do to improve the chances that the form will be viewed in a way that is favorable to your case. For instance, you can talk to your doctor about your limitations. Even though your doctor treats you, he or she might not have a full picture of how your impairments prevent you from working.
You also need to talk to your doctor about the treatments you have undergone. He or she needs to know every detail of how the treatments impacted your health and ability to work. For instance, if the medication you are taking causes extreme drowsiness which prevents you from working, inform the doctor. The information could be enough to help your claim.
Talk to a social security disability attorney before filing for benefits to learn of further steps you can take to help your doctor with the RFC form.Share
28 March 2017
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