If a medical condition prevents you from working, you may have considered filing a disability claim. You will need medical evidence to prove that you are disabled. However, the agency that you apply to might want to do their own investigation. For example, if you file a claim for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) with the Social Security Administration (SSA), they may require a residual functional capacity assessment.
Residual Functional Capacity Means . . .
Someone who files a disability claim is obviously claiming they are disabled due to a medical condition. It can be difficult to assess whether someone is truly disabled or not.
The SSA manages two benefits for disabled people: SSDI and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). While processing a claim for SSDI benefits, the SSA will assess your residual functional capacity, which is:
“… the most you can still do despite your limitations.”
In fact, the SSA will want to have a physician complete a residual functional capacity that assesses how much work-related activity you can still do.
It makes perfect sense that the SSA would ensure that an applicant is disabled before awarding benefits. But why is residual functional capacity so important?
Residual Functional Capacity Matters Because . . .
Medical records alone may not give a complete picture of your disability or overall physical condition. Such records just show your medical condition. The residual functional capacity assessments show how your medical condition affects your ability to work.
For example, Julian has Stage 1 lung cancer, which is certainly very serious. However, he still performs his job duties just fine. Julian’s medical records show he has a serious condition, while his residual functional capacity assessments show he is still capable of working at this time. Based on his residual functional capacity, he probably would not be eligible for SSDI benefits at this time.
Ask a Disability Lawyer
Social Security Administration rules and regulations are not easy to understand. It can help to have someone on your side. The attorneys at The Law Offices of Martin Taller have more than 50 years’ experience helping clients like you. For a free consultation, call us at 714-385-8100. Though our office is located in Anaheim, we assist clients throughout Southern California.