Using An RFC Form When Applying For Benefits With Scleroderma

As a disease that typically affects women between the ages of 30 and 50, scleroderma is a serious medical ailment that can damage the skin and joints to the point when pain makes it virtually impossible to complete the most basic job functions. In many cases, the combination of surgery, medications, and physical therapy only mitigates the symptoms, not completely eliminates them. This means that anyone suffering from the medical condition can expect a lifelong struggle that inhibits the ability to work a full-time job.

The key to overcoming the potentially lifelong affliction is to catch it in the early stages of development. However, most cases of the disease go undetected, which means anyone who suffers from the ailment should seek financial assistance by applying for Social Security Insurance Benefits (SSDI). SSDI benefits take care of recipients that cannot work full-time or cannot hold down any type of job at all.

The Importance of a Residual Functional Capacity Assessment

Applying for SSDI benefits starts by referring to the Blue Book put out by the Social Security Administration (SSA). The SSA frequently uploads a revised version of the Blue Book online, while the print version remains in the form of the 2008 edition. The Blue Book lists every medical condition that qualifies applicants for SSDI benefits, along with the symptoms each ailment triggers. However, many SSDI cases requires the submission of a Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) form.

An RFC assessment form gives the SSA a good idea about how the development of scleroderma has affected your ability to complete a large number of functions that are associated with your job. For example, the debilitating pain of an advanced case of scleroderma can make it impossible for a host at a restaurant to stand on his or her feet for even a short period. An examiner from the SSA closely scrutinizes your RFC form to ensure you qualify for SSDI benefits.

How to Submit the Most Persuasive RFC

Submitting medical documentation with your RFC is not just an option, it is a mandatory part of getting your RFC assessment approved. For scleroderma, submitting the results of blood tests is a good place to start. Antinuclear antibodies are found in 95% of the patients that contract the degenerative disease. Pulmonary function tests measure how your lungs perform under both normal and strenuous situations. An electrocardiogram detects the presence of any scar tissue surrounding the heart. If this test comes back positive, it means your case of scleroderma has reached the advance stage of development.

In addition to attaching medical documentation to an RFC assessment form, you should ask your physician to complete the form to bolster your RFC cases. The SSA puts much more emphasis on an RFC application completed and signed by a licensed physician.


Receive a Free Case Evaluation

Trying to gain approval for SSDI benefits can trigger plenty of stress. Just not knowing where you stand during a financial crisis can keep you up at night. You can enter the RFC assessment process with a confident attitude if you undergo a free case evaluation. A free case evaluation mirrors the criteria used by the SSA to approve or deny RFC applications. Make sure you use the same medical documentation for a free case evaluation that you plan to submit with an RFC assessment application. Although a free case evaluation returns results in an efficient manner, the RFC application process can take a few months to complete.

Additional Resources

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