Most people are surprised to find out that spinal injuries or traumas that cause paraplegia are not automatically eligible for Social Security disability benefits. People who can’t work because they are paraplegic can still qualify for disability benefits through the Residual Functional Capacity if they can’t work as a result of paraplegia.
What Is Residual Functional Capacity?
Residual Functional Capacity measures your ability to do some kind of work with the limitations that you have as a result of your condition. If you don’t meet the Social Security Administration’s strict Blue Book listing criteria you can be eligible for disability benefits through a Residual Functional Capacity evaluation. The Social Security Administration will look at your work history, your medical records, and the Residual Functional Capacity evaluation form that you need to have your doctor fill out to determine if you should be eligible for disability benefits.
How To Use the RFC When You Have Paraplegia
In order to qualify for disability benefits through the RFC exception you will have to file a claim for disability benefits that includes the RFC evaluation form, your medical records, and the actual claim for benefits. In the RFC evaluation your doctor should write down in detail all of your symptoms and how the make it difficult for you to work. The RFC carries a lot of weight when the SSA is making their decision. They will look to see if there’s any kind of work that you can do with the limitations that you have. If they decide there isn’t any work you can do with the skills that you have then you will qualify for disability benefits.
For example, if you’ve been working as a dental hygienist for the last ten years and you become paraplegic as the result of a car accident you would likely qualify for benefits through an RFC because your skills wouldn’t transfer to any other kind of work.
What To Include With Your RFC For Paraplegia
When you file for an RFC you will need to include medical evidence that backs up your claim as well as the RFC that your doctor has filled out. If you are paraplegic you will need to include things like MRI scans, X-rays, skin sensitivity test results, nerve reflex test results, and any other medical evidence that supports your claim. The more documentation you submit the better your chances of getting approved are.
Get Help With Your RFC For Paraplegia
The process of filing for Social Security disability benefits can be confusing, especially when you’re filing an RFC. Talking to a lawyer that has years of experience working on Social Security cases can help you understand the process and make sure that you have everything you need to get your claim approved.
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