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Residual Functional Capacity Evaluation

SSDI Lawyers Serving Chicago Residents

When you apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, the agency will look at what kinds of tasks and activities you’re still able to perform. You’ll need to fill out a residual functional capacity assessment form. This will include disclosing what you can’t do because of your disability or disabilities. If you are concerned about a residual functional capacity evaluation, our experienced Chicago Social Security attorneys may be able to help you. Many valid SSDI benefits claims get denied initially or on appeal, and you may improve your chances of getting benefits when you are represented by an experienced SSDI lawyer from the start.

Disability Claims Examiner

A disability claims examiner will work with a state agency to conduct a residual functional capacity evaluation. The state agency will figure out to what extent you’re restricted and which of those restrictions limit the jobs you can do. It will look not only at your medical record, but also your doctor’s notes about your limitations to conduct the residual functional capacity evaluation.

Generally, the residual functional capacity evaluation is first used to figure out whether you can do your prior job. If you can’t do your old job, the examiner will look at whether you have the ability to to learn skills to do another job.

Residual Functional Capacity Evaluation

If you claim any sort of physical limitation that the Social Security office believes is severe, you will need to undergo a residual functional capacity evaluation of your physical ability. It will include the extent to which you can exert yourself, whether you are sedentary, whether you can lightly exert yourself, and whether you have moderate or heavy exertion abilities. The extent to which you can exert yourself is based on issues such as how much you’re able to lift, walk, stand, push, pull, or stand.

There are also physical limitations that don’t involve your strength or exertion. For example, if you are unable to manipulate small objects or you can’t see properly, these are non-exertional limitations. Similarly, other restrictions might be the extent to which you can be exposed to hot or cold weather, sunlight, fumes, or dust, or the degree to which you are able to bend or crouch, or the extent to which you can speak or hear or type.

When the basis of your application is an emotional or mental disability, the agency will need to investigate the extent to which you’re limited by that condition, but this is a less rigidly structured evaluation. If the agency sees that your emotional or mental disability is severe, it will need to develop a mental residual functional capacity evaluation. This evaluation will look at the extent to which you can keep attention or concentration for long periods and the extent to which you can perform tasks on time. The evaluation will examine to what extent you can respond properly to criticism from supervisors, keep an ordinary routine without special supervision, make judgments, and interact appropriately with the public. It will look at the extent to which you can carry out directions or tolerate normal stress levels. The purpose of the evaluation is to compare your mental limitations to job requirements for other jobs in the country to see whether there are less emotionally or mentally demanding jobs you are able to handle.

Often impairments cause severe physical and mental limitations that can affect your ability to do work at a job. Under section 416.945, your residual functional capacity reflects the most you are able to do in spite of restrictions. When there is more than one impairment, all of the medically determinable impairments of which you make the agency aware, including those that aren’t severe, will be considered in evaluating your residual functional capacity. Generally, claimants are responsible for providing the agency with medical and other evidence to make a decision about residual functional capacity.

Consult a Skillful SSDI Attorney in Chicago

If you are concerned about a residual functional capacity evaluation in Chicago, our experienced SSDI lawyers can help. At Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca, we represent injured workers in Quincy, Aurora, Rockford, Springfield, and Champaign, as well as Kane County, Cook County, Sangamon County, Winnebago County, and Adams County. We can also figure out whether other remedies should be sought, based on the nature and cause of the disability. Contact us toll-free at 312-724-5846 or via our online form.