Using an RFC When Applying For Disability Benefits With COPD

If you have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), you may not be able to work. If your condition cannot meet the criteria of a Blue Book listing, you may be able to qualify through a medical vocational allowance and the help of a residual functional capacity (RFC).

The RFC is a form that your physician completes that is detailed, explaining what you can and cannot do along with presenting a detailed picture of your restrictions and limitations and what kind of work you are capable of doing.

How To Use an RFC With COPD

If you suffer from COPD, the RFC should detail how your shortness of breath, fatigue, weakness, and other symptoms affect you. As an example, you may not be able to walk more than 500 feet unassisted or before you become short of breath.

The fatigue may cause you to need frequent rest breaks, and you may not be able to bend or squat or lift heavy items. You may not be able to reach above your head because of breathing issues.

As an example, you are 50 years old. You have spent 30 years in a woodworking factory. The COPD makes it impossible for you to breathe around the sawdust, stain, and varnish even with a protective mask.

You cannot stand more than an hour without needing to rest, and you cannot bend frequently, and you cannot walk considerable distances. When your symptoms, medical conditions, age, work history, and educational background are all considered, the disability examiner will determine you cannot work and earn a living.


What To Include With Your RFC For COPD

When you send your RFC for COPD in for the disability examiner to review, you will need to provide other supporting documentation. This should include medical records. Prepare a detailed list of all your medical providers and be sure to include their contact details and the approximate dates you received medical service.

If you are applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), you will need to provide proof of your work history and show that you earn adequate credits to be covered by the program. If you are applying for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), you will need to provide proof of income such as paystubs as well as details about your assets, such as bank statements, deeds, investment records, and so forth.

Get a Free Case Review

If you have COPD and you are applying for disability benefits, you may want to enlist the help of a disability attorney who help you with the claims process as well as help you get your RFC for COPD in order. A disability attorney will know the specifics about the claims process and will help you make sure you have all the supporting evidence that your claim needs to succeed.

Disability lawyers work on a contingency basis, so your attorney will not be paid until your claim is approved. Complete the Free Case Evaluation Form on this page today to share details with an attorney in your area.

Additional Resources

Find Out If I Qualify for Benefits!