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Understand and Complete the Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) Form

If you are planning on submitting an application for Social Security Disability benefits, it is extremely important that you become familiar with the Residual Functional Capacity Form (RFC). In order to have a chance at a favorable decision from the Disability Determination Services (DDS) that will approve or deny your application, it is imperative that your RFC is filled out completely and accurately as part of your disability application.

The purpose of the RFC, known also as the “Ability to Do Work Related Activity” form, is to give your physician an opportunity to describe the negative impact of your disabling condition on your ability to function in a work environment. Your RFC is extremely important because the Social Security Administration (SSA) doesn’t award benefits on the basis of a disability diagnosis alone, but rather on the ability of the disabled individual to perform the work-related activities necessary to achieving gainful employment. In order to be awarded Social Security Disability benefits, you need to prove not only that you are medically disabled, but also that you are unable to perform any substantial work activity, and the RFC is pivotal to proving this before the SSA.

Although the RFC form is relatively uncomplicated to fill out, it plays a major role in convincing the SSA that you are totally disabled because it gives your physician the opportunity to offer a second-hand medical opinion that both corroborates and legitimizes your disability claim. All of the questions are intended to clearly ascertain the physical performance capabilities of the applicant. Such questions are clearly designed so that there is no gray area present in terms of determining the disability level of the applicant. Since a physician is filling out the form, it maintains a level of credibility since it is not a self-certified form.

If you plan on applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, it is extremely important that you work closely with your medical professionals and possibly a qualified Social Security Disability attorney or advocate to be sure that your Residual Functional Capacity Form is filled out completely and accurately. By doing so, you will not only speed up the application process, but also ensure that you have the best possible chance of receiving the disability benefits that you deserve.