1. Social Security Disability
  2. /
  3. Glossary
  4. /
  5. Physical Residual Functional Capacity

Physical Residual Functional Capacity

To claim for Social Security Handicap benefits owing to a physical disability, a physical RFC form must be submitted. RFC is an abbreviation for “residual functional capacity,” which refers to the activities that you can undertake despite your disability. Your physician will finish your RFC and will make an attempt to demonstrate that your handicap is serious enough to keep you from working. You will qualify for Social Security Disability benefits only if it is determined that you have little or no residual functional capacity as a result of your disability. As a result, it is critical that your physician completes the form completely.

Although there are two fundamental categories of RFCs (physical and mental) and a variety of RFCs for individual conditions, if you have a physical handicap and apply for Social Security Disability payments, you will complete a physical RFC.

Your physician will be questioned at the physical RFC in the following areas:

Capacity for exercise
Your capacity for lifting, carrying, and pulling specified weights, as well as the frequency with which you can accomplish these jobs
how long and/or how far you can sit, stand, and walk, and whether or not you can push or pull well enough with your hands or feet to operate controls.

  • Restriction of posture (your ability to do the following and how often)
  • Manipulative constraints
  • Visual impediments
    near acuity
    far acuity
    depth perception
    color vision
    field of vision
    near acuity
    far acuity
  • Limitations in communication
  • Environmental constraints
    extreme cold
    extreme heat
    fumes, smells, dusts, gases, inadequate ventilation
    dangers posed by machinery or heights

Additionally, there is a space for symptoms (types, intensity, and duration), treatments (including the outcomes of various treatments, such as how you responded or did not respond), and other remarks.

The additional comments section can be quite beneficial in obtaining Social Security Impairment benefits approval, particularly if your physician takes the time to discuss the progression of your disability and its effects over time.