If you’re applying for Social Security benefits through the Social Security Administration (SSA) because a disability prevents you from working and earning an income, you will need to submit various forms and documents with your application. A Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) form is among the most important.
You can’t complete this form on your own. A doctor must complete it for you. The following overview will cover what an RFC form is, what types of questions it asks, and why it’s necessary for a medical professional to complete it on your behalf.
What Is an RFC Form?
The purpose of benefits like Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is to offer financial assistance to those who can’t work because of a disabling medical condition. Thus, to assess whether an individual qualifies for benefits, the SSA must determine whether their condition significantly limits their ability to participate in substantial gainful activity (SGA). The SSA’s goal is to confirm an applicant genuinely needs financial assistance.
The RFC form provides information about this topic to someone reviewing an application for benefits. Its general purpose is to demonstrate how a person’s physical and/or mental limitations prevent them from working.
Who Fills Out an RFC Form?
The questions on an RFC form address medical and health topics. As such, a doctor must complete an RFC form to ensure it is accurate and thorough.
It’s typically ideal for the doctor who completes an RFC form to be one who is reasonably familiar with the condition of an applicant. However, for various reasons, the doctor who has primarily treated an applicant may not be available to complete their RFC form. The SSA can arrange for an approved doctor to examine an applicant and complete an RFC form for them in these circumstances.
What Questions Are on an RFC?
The questions an RFC form asks serve to gather information about an applicant’s physical and mental abilities. They address such matters as:
- The degree to which an individual’s condition affects their ability to lift and carry heavy items
- Whether a person’s condition makes it difficult for them to maintain a consistent posture for an extended period of time
- The way an applicant’s disability may prevent them from performing tasks involving fine motor skills
- Whether an applicant’s disability makes it unreasonably difficult for them to work in certain types of environments, such as environments involving extreme temperatures
- Whether an applicant’s condition includes mental capacity limitations
Get Help With Your Disability Claim
Be aware that an RFC form is one of several documents you will likely need to submit when applying for Social Security benefits. Because the process of gathering all the necessary documentation may be complex and time-consuming, you might strongly consider enlisting the help of an attorney.
A lawyer can ensure your application is thorough. This may improve your chances of receiving an approval from the SSA. To learn more about what an attorney can do for you, fill out the Free Case Evaluation to get connected with an independent attorney who subscribes to the website and may be able to help with your case.