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What does RFC stand for in a Social Security Disability claim?

Residents of Ohio may be aware that individuals who have a disability that affects their ability to work may be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits. This safety net is for those individuals who are unfortunate enough to have been injured or become ill and who can no longer make enough to support themselves. What is a bit less widely known, however, is that someone may also qualify for Social Security Disability due to a mental health issues.

Once the Social Security Administration has determined that a mental condition exists from the evidence you have provided, such as a medical evaluation, it will move on to considering if the condition changes your capacity to perform substantial gainful activity. One step in this process is to figure out your “Residual Functional Capacity,” or RFC. This evaluation will be made on the basis of both medical and non-medical sources, such as reports from family and friends, and is meant to determine just how much your ability to work is affected by your condition.

The SSA, after examining the evidence, will determine what level of incapacity you have in each of the following areas: social interactions, adaptation, understanding and memory and sustained concentration and persistence. The levels of capacity include not significantly limited, moderately limited and markedly limited. There could also be a finding of insufficient evidence. Generally speaking, however, for someone to receive benefits there will have to be a determination that the person is “markedly limited” in one of the four areas.

Source: FindLaw, “Mental Health Disability Claims ,” accessed Sept. 30, 2014

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