What is RFC? Why does it matter for my Social Security Claim?

Marken Law Group, PS, handles all Social Security claims, from initial applications, reconsideration appeals, appeals in front of an administrative law judge, the Appeals Council and Federal District Court. RFC is an important term you need to know for your Social Security claim.

RFC stands for Residual Functional Capacity. You can see a sample RFC form from social security here. A claimant’s RFC is basically an evaluation done by one of several people in determining what an individual can and cannot do with respect to, for instance, lifting and/or carrying in pounds, time one can sit, stand, walk in an 8 hour day, and more. The Division of Disability Services, or DDS, will offer an RFC when they decline your Social Security Claim. If you are in a jurisdiction at hearing, Spokane for example, that typically call medical experts to testify, they too will give an RFC opinion as to what you are able to and not able to do during a given workday. These opinions are based almost ENTIRELY on the medical records you provide to Social Security and the medical records Social Security obtains.

It is VITAL to have your own medical doctor compose an RFC for you, their patient. These doctor complied RFC’s tend to be more favorable than DDS and the medical experts testifying essentially against you. If your doctor or mental health provider will complete a physical or mental RFC you will be in much better standing before the administrative law judge and in your general appeal process. The reason for this is simple; your doctor knows you and will be able to provide more knowledgeable insight into your disability.

Social Security’s own federal regulation, which can be read in it’s entirety here, 404.1527 states they have to give treating physicians controlling weight with their opinions.

In part, the regulation states:

“Generally, we give more weight to opinions from your treating sources, since these sources are likely to be the medical professionals most able to provide a detailed, longitudinal picture of your medical impairment(s) and may bring a unique perspective to the medical evidence that cannot be obtained from the objective medical findings alone or from reports of individual examinations, such as consultative examinations or brief hospitalizations. If we find that a treating source’s opinion on the issue(s) of the nature and severity of your impairment(s) is well-supported by medically acceptable clinical and laboratory diagnostic techniques and is not inconsistent with the other substantial evidence in your case record, we will give it controlling weight.”

Obtaining an RFC from your doctor is vital to winning your disability claim. Without it, your road is far more difficult.

At Marken Law Group, PS, we have forms we personally send your doctors that we have found to be most effective in winning disability claims. Call for your free consultation today!