Using An RFC When Applying For Benefits With Lymphedema

It can be a gradual medical condition that you miss the signs for weeks. Lymphedema symptoms can also appear suddenly, without any warning signs that indicate your job performance has started to diminish. The often debilitating medical condition is typically caused by the removal or the damage caused to lymph nodes. As an integral strategy for treating cancer, the removal of lymph nodes can trigger swelling of one or both arms and/or legs. Not only can it be difficult to move around, the ensuing pain can prevent you from holding a steady job.

The swelling can reach the point when it becomes impossible to move your limbs, which makes lymphedema an ailment that adversely impacts the performance of professionals that move around frequently throughout the course of a workday. A feeling of tightness in the chest, a restricted range of motion, and the consistent development of infections also contribute to the job impairment caused by the development of lymphedema.

How Do You Financially Recover from Lymphedema?

Lymphedema not only impairs job performance; it also can put a professional out of work indefinitely. Fortunately, the Social Security Administration (SSA) offers financial assistance to displaced workers through its Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits program. The agency constantly updates the medical conditions that qualify workers for SSDI benefits. Referred to as the Blue Book, the SSA guide to applying for disability benefits also lists the symptoms that make applicants eligible to receive financial assistance.

Finding out that your lymphedema symptoms qualify you for SSDI benefits might not be enough information for the SSA to approve an application. You might also have to submit a Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) form. An RFC form demonstrates how lymphedema has diminished your performance at work. It analyzes each of the job functions you complete every day and how the development of lymphedema has adversely impacted each job function. For instance, chest tightness can restrict your ability to breathe properly, which in turn generates chronic fatigue.

Medical Documents Bolster Your Case

You will need the backing of your physician to improve the likelihood the SSA approves your RFC application. Support from your physician can include the medical professional completing and submitting an RFC form that an SSA examiner reviews. At the very least, you need to submit medical documentation that confirms a lymphedema diagnosis, as well as shows the disease inhibits your work performance.

Physicians conduct several tests to confirm the presence of lymphedema and the severity of the condition’s symptoms. An infrared perometry test deploys an infrared optical scanner to measure the volume of the affected limb or limbs. The test compares a damaged limb to a healthy limb if the other limb is diagnosed as healthy. Otherwise, your doctor refers to medical guidelines to determine the presence of lymphedema. You also might undergo a bioimpedance scanning test, which calculates the amount of fluid present in the affected limb or limbs.


Complete a Free Case Evaluation

The SSA allows just one RFC assessment application for every applicant. This means that if the agency denies your RFC application, you do not have another opportunity to receive SSDI benefits. To ensure you submit the strongest possible RFC form, you should obtain a free case evaluation. The evaluation will analyze the same criteria used by the SSDI to determine benefits eligibility.

Schedule a free case evaluation today to start the RFC assessment application process.

Additional Resources

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