Using An RFC When Applying For Benefits With A Herniated Disc

You were just digging a hole in the backyard, but the typically basic task turned into an excruciating bout of pain that your doctor attributed to the development of a herniated disc. One incident or a series of events can trigger a herniated disc, which often causes acute pain that prevents a patient from completing the most fundamental job functions. Although science has established that predisposition plays a huge role in the development of a herniated disc, the serious injury can happen to just about anyone.

If you suffer from a herniated disc, you understand that getting back to work is not only unlikely, it is impossible because of the immense amount of pain. However, what you do not understand is why the Social Security Administration denied your Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) application. In many cases, the SSA wants more evidence to back up an SSDI application.

What is Your Residual Functional Capacity?

When the SSA receives an SSDI application, the agency refers to what is called the Blue Book to determine eligibility for benefits. The Blue Book lists every medical condition that qualifies for SSDI benefits consideration. However, applicants must also meet the thresholds established by the SSA for every medical condition. For a herniated disc, you have to meet the minimum standards created that describe the extent of the injury, as well as how the injury negatively impacts your performance on the job.

If you received a denied SSDI application, the SSA probably wants additional information to substantiate your claim. Additional evidence comes in the form of a Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) assessment, which a representative from the SSA Disability Determination Services (DDS) analyzes. The primary purpose of an RFC assessment is to determine how much of a negative impact a herniated disc has on your ability to complete standard job functions. For example, a warehouse worker suffering from a herniated disc who lifts heavy objects all day long should have a convincing case for receiving disability benefits from the SSA.

Strengthen Your RFC Assessment by Attaching Medical Records

A herniated disc triggers symptoms that are unique to the potentially devastating injury. Pain and/or numbness on one side of the body indicates a disc has ruptured. You can feel the pain whether you sit or stand. The pain typically gets much worse after walking short distances, like from your desk to an office water cooler. The question is not about the presence of debilitating symptoms, but instead, you need back up your claim with medical records submitted by a licensed healthcare professional.

A diagnostic report that verifies the development of a herniated disc is a good start. However, you need to also submit medical evidence that the injury prohibits you from completing the easiest job tasks. Your physician should submit evidence of treatment and rehabilitation for the serious injury. An x-ray of the injured area is a strong piece of evidence that you attach to your FRC assessment form.

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Undergo a Free Case Evaluation

Submitting an RFC assessment form does not have to be a blind process. You want to see where you stand with the SSA before you submit an RFC form. There are several online options for completing a free case evaluation. Just make sure to use the same medical documentation that you plan to use for your RFC assessment form. You should receive a free case evaluation via email within just a few days of completing it.

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