What's Your Level Of Functioning?


If you've been trying to get approved for Social Security benefits, you may come across the term "residual functioning capacity." This term sounds a bit intimidating, but understanding what it means could enhance your ability to get benefits. Being unable to work and convincing the Social Security Administration (SSA) that you deserve benefits can be two different things, so read on to learn more about residual functional capacity (RFC).

What is residual functioning capacity?

The SSA is not as interested in your medical condition as much as they are in how well you can do your job. You must prove your medical condition, but that medical condition also has to affect your work. For example, if you are applying for Social Security because you are suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome, and your job never requires you to use your hands and wrists to do your job, the SSA may not approve your benefits after reviewing your RFC.

How is RFC determined?

The SSA looks at the tasks that you would typically do at your most recent jobs, and they compare that to the tasks that you are no longer able to do because of your medical condition. If you have sufficient proof of your medical condition, then the SSA moves to the RCF evaluation. The tasks that the SSA looks at are based on five levels of functioning from the lowest to the most rigorous:

  • Sedentary
  • Light
  • Medium
  • Heavy
  • Very heavy

What else to know

The SSA is not just looking for ways to keep you from getting benefits; they are attempting to determine what your level of functioning is for various reasons. For example, the RFC is also used to determine what types of work you can do after you've been earning benefits. You can earn a limited amount of income, but not by exceeding your RFC levels that were established prior to getting benefits. If you get a job and can once again do the job tasks at the level needed, you may lose your benefits.

You should also know that you can qualify for benefits even if you can do some of the tasks, but not fully. You must be able to work full time, taking your regular breaks and not having to stop and rest due to your medical condition. If you cannot work without taking more time to do tasks and having to rest, you may qualify for benefits.

If you have been turned down for benefits for any reason, speak to your local social security disability lawyer services for help with your appeal. Sometimes your denial is based on an error or missing information, and you may be approved for the help you need at the appeal hearing.


29 April 2018

Consulting with an Accident and Personal Injury Lawyer

Ten years ago, I was injured in a car wreck while commuting to work. When a driver rear-ended my car, I hurt my back. Unfortunately, I had to undergo a couple of weeks of physical therapy. Even after receiving physical therapy, my back never felt as good as it did prior to the wreck. Have you been injured in a car wreck recently? Consider talking with an experienced accident and personal injury lawyer. This type of attorney can help you decide whether filing a lawsuit is your best course of action to take. On this blog, I hope you will discover the benefits of speaking with an accident and personal injury attorney soon after getting injured in a car wreck. Enjoy!