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What is the physical component of 'RFC' in New Jersey disability?

About a month ago, this space discussed the concept of 'Residual Functional Capacity' as it relates to the way the Social Security Administration evaluates applications for Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income. At that time, we presented a general overview of what RFC is and how the SSA utilizes it in the context of determining whether an applicant has an inability to work. This week we will take a closer look at one of the specific components that may affect RFC, and that is an applicant's ability to meet the physical requirements of work.

New Jersey residents who have suffered major injuries usually have some physical component to their inability to do the work they did previously. As you may remember, the SSA will analyze a claim for disability based on evidence that you provide, both from medical sources and others who may be aware of your limitations. Code of Federal Regulations Section 416.945 sets out the basics of what kind of limitations the SSA will look at to evaluate a claim. For many injured workers the most important category on this analysis will be his or her physical limitations.

The regulation stipulates that the SSA will first look to the type and magnitude of the applicant's physical limitations as it applies to his or her ability to perform work-related functions. This may include the worker's ability to do physical tasks such as lifting, pulling, pushing or carrying items of varying weights. However, it could also include more mundane activities such as the applicant's ability to stand, sit or walk, as well as what are termed 'manipulative functions,' such as grasping objects and crouching, stooping or reaching for something.

It is important to remember that the SSA will look at the total limiting effects of a disability when deciding on an application for Social Security Disability for injuries. This means that limiting effects such as pain may also be taken into account in addition to the above named activities. People with questions regarding their current or potential SSDI or SSI claims may wish to consider contacting an experienced New Jersey disability attorney.

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