Using an RFC When Applying For Benefits With Degenerative Disc Disease

A residual functional capacity (RFC) form is a detailed form that explains an individual’s restrictions and limitations in detail. The RFC will indicate how frequently you must reposition, how long you can stand, how much you can lift, if you can squat or bend, your ability to grasp and reach, and so forth.

Sometimes severe pain can affect an individual mentally, or pain medication may be required, and it can affect the memory and attention span, affect mood, and cause drowsiness and dizziness. All these would be detailed in an RFC.

How To Use the RFC When You Have Degenerative Disc Disease

Degenerative disc disease is a painful condition. It can limit one’s ability to stand, his or her ability to walk, may require frequent rest breaks and repositioning, and it could necessitate the use of a walker, crutches, or a wheelchair to get around. The RFC should clearly indicate how far you can walk and if an assistive device is needed, as well as how long you can stand and how frequently you must rest or reposition.

As an example, you are 50 years old and you have spent your entire career working in a factory operating a machine. Your degenerative disc disease keeps you from walking more than 500 feet without assistance, and you cannot stand for more than 45 minutes to an hour at a time without rest breaks.

You are unable to bend and lift, and you cannot reach above your head without debilitating pain. When you take your pain medication to manage the severity of the pain, you experience drowsiness and dizziness, which affect your ability to operate the machine safely.

What To Include With Your RFC For Degenerative Disc Disease

When you send in the RFC, you will need to provide supporting documentation which should specifically include hard medical evidence. This should include scans and imaging records that confirm the degenerative disc disease diagnosis. Medical records that include the treatment plan, the severity of your symptoms, and physician notes detailing your medical exam and the severity of your condition.

If you are applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), you should provide a detailed work history to show that you have earned enough work credits to qualify. If you are applying for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), which is needs-based, you will need to provide proof of income and resources so that the financial criteria are met.


Get Help With Your RFC For Degenerative Disc Disease

If you are unable to work because of degenerative disc disease, you will want to get your disability claim underway. It can take several months to have a claim approved, but if you enlist the help of a Social Security Disability attorney, your chances of a claim approval increase greatly. You should consult with a disability lawyer about your claim, so you can ensure all the supporting documentation is in order.

Disability lawyers work on a contingency basis, so you will not have to pay anything upfront. Complete the Free Case Evaluation Form to share the details of your claim with a disability attorney in your area.

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