The concept of “full range of work” is a part of the Social Security Disability (SSD) evaluation process involved in examining an applicant’s “residual functional capacity” or RFC.
An RFC evaluation is typically only performed if disability applicants do not meet or match a listed condition in the Social Security Administration’s (SSA’s) manual of impairments or disabilities, which is known as the Blue Book.
When an RFC analysis is required to determine eligibility for disability benefits, the SSA looks at several factors, including the applicant’s:
- Work history
- Acquired job skills
- Training and education
- Overall job qualifications
To be found eligible for benefits through an RFC analysis, the SSA must determine that you are unable to get and keep a job for which you are otherwise qualified given all of the factors listed above and given the limitations your impairment or medical condition imposes on you.
For example, if you are no longer able to do the kind of work you have done in the past, but your medical condition or impairment does not prevent you from performing the “full range of work” associated with sedentary jobs, like clerical, administrative, or office jobs, then the SSA will deny you disability benefits.
This is because your RFC shows you are not completely disabled and should therefore be able to find a job in which you are capable and qualified of performing the “full range of work”, even if that job is not in your traditional career field.
If however you apply for disability benefits and your RFC analysis shows you are not able to perform the “full range of work” in any job for which you are otherwise qualified, then the SSA will grant you disability benefits through what is known as a medical vocational allowance.