Why Do You Need an RFC Form?

Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) Assessment Form

If there ever was a heart and soul to a Social Security Disability Claim the Residual Functional Capacity Assessment is it.

This RFC Form addresses the fundamental issue involved in a claim for either Social Security Disability or SSI claims which is NOT whether or not you are disabled.

The issue in a Social Security Disability Claim is whether or not your disability has impacted your ability to work.

It is important to consider ALL the factors and ALL the medical conditions which contribute to your inability to work and document them.  In my opinion EACH medical condition should be documented with its OWN RFC form.

Functional Capacity Testing and Functional Capacity Evaluations

An RFC assessment is required in all disability determinations where:

A medical decision is necessary; and
The individual has a severe impairment or
Multiple not severe impairments which in combination are severe; and
The impairment does not meet or equal the Listing of Impairments; and
A determination of ability to perform substantial gainful activity (SGA) is required

Title II disability insurance benefits (DIB) and childhood disability benefits (CDB) claims;
Title II disabled widows, widowers and surviving divorced spouses (DWB) claims for months of entitlement after December 1990;)
Title XVI disabled individual/disabled spouse (DI/DS) claims);
(Under SSR 91-3p, RFC assessment is required to determine entitlement for DWB for months before January 1991.) or
an otherwise not severe impairment(s) precludes past relevant work (because of the unique features of the work).

An RFC assessment is a reduction to a known and recognized format Functional Capacity Testing and Functional Capacity Evaluations.

New RFC Form at Each New Level of Claim

A New RFC Form is required at each new adjudicative level (when criteria in A.2.a. above are met). Since a claimant is entitled to a new determination at each decision making level, a new RFC assessment must be made, independent of prior RFC assessments.

Social Security RFC Form

The Social Security Administration has specific RFC Forms.  Link Here.  https://secure.ssa.gov/apps10/poms/images/SSA4/G-SSA-4734-U8-1.pdf

You will see the standard form has an input location for:

1.  Primary Diagnosis

2.  Secondary Diagnosis

3.  Alleged other impairments

While it is important to follow Social Security Disability procedure and adhere to their standards, it is also important to fully present your claim.  This form presents a sound starting point for your RFC claim.  It should, however, be just that, a starting point.

Be Pro-active in Physician Discussions

The functional restrictions or limitations as reflected in the RFC form serve to rate your ability to work.  No one knows your limitations better than you.  Be prepared to discuss these with your physician.  Be prepared to explain the impact each condition has had on your physical abilities.  Be prepared to tell your physician what kind of work you do, what is required for that work and why you can no longer perform that work.

Follow through and be certain your physician documents these facts on your behalf.  Additionally, this form does not begin to address mental impairments.  I have prepared a very general Mental Impairment RFC form.  However, if you have a diagnosis from your treating physician, it is important to document the limiting features of your illness on your ability to work.

Link Here for Mental Impairment RFC suggested form.