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The Grid Rules And Residual Functional Capacity (RFC)

By Kenton Koszdin on July 24, 2018 | In Disability Insurance

The Grid Rules And Residual Functional Capacity (RFC)

An earlier blog briefly described the grid rules – regulations promulgated and used by the Social Security Administration to decide the eligibility of some, but not all, disability claims. The grid rules aim to codify these vocational realities associated with the premise that individuals have a more difficult time finding employment as they age, i.e., employers are less likely to offer an entry-level job to applicants over the age of 49.

First, because the SSA recognizes the difficulties finding employment for those age 50 and over, older benefit applicants may find it easier to have their claims approved. The grid rules allow approval of disability benefits through a medical-vocational allowance. They are used only after the SSA has determined that a claimant is unable to do work performed in the recent past. The grid rules assign a “Residual Functional Capacity” (RFC) level which is cross-referenced with age, education, and the skill level of the applicant’s past work experience to determines whether a claimant is disabled.

Residual functional capacity (RFC) is an applicant’s remaining ability to perform work on a regular and sustained basis, i.e., full-time. The SSA will examine any objective medical evidence to conduct a detailed assessment of an applicant’s ability to do certain job-related activities like walking, standing, carrying, lifting, and pushing. Thus, the RFC is a detailed assessment that assigns an applicant a level of work based on any strength-related or exertional personal limitations.

The SSA will assign an applicant an RFC for sedentary work, light work, medium work, heavy work, or very heavy work. Typically, the higher or heavier an applicant’s RFC is, the more difficult it will be to get approved for benefits based on the grid rules.

The SSA first identifies the table that addresses an applicant’s RFC level, then cross-references it with the row that describes the applicant’s age group, educational level, and past work experience. The determination column indicates how the SSA will decide the benefits’ claim.

An injury, illness or disability may prevent anyone from performing his or her job to the best of his or her ability. My office is here to protect those who are injured on the job. My office is here to protect those who are disabled, sick, ill and unable to work. The primary goal of the Kenton Koszdin Law Office is to help our clients get as well as possible physically and financially. Contact the Kenton Koszdin Law Office today for a free consultation. We even offer free in-home consultations! Call 800-438-7734 or visit us online. It will be a pleasure to hear from you. Se habla espańol!

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