Charlotte disability lawyers explain “residual functional capacity” in relation to mental disorders

For more on the process of disability benefits, contact a Charlotte disability lawyer at Bridgman Law Offices at (704)815-6055 for a free consultation!

As we noted in our previous post (4/4/11), in making the disability determination in your case, the Social Security Administration will evaluate your "residual functional capacity" (RFC) - that is, your current ability to perform basic work-related activities, despite the physical and/or mental limitations caused by your impairment. Cases involving mental disorders can be particularly challenging; however, a significant loss of ability to perform basic work-related, mental activities on a sustained basis (e.g., 8 hours a day, 5 days a week) will limit the types of jobs available to you and may justify a finding of disability. The following mental activities generally are required for competitive, paid, unskilled work:

  • Understanding, remembering and following simple instructions;
  • Making simple work-related decisions;
  • Responding appropriately to supervisors and co-workers;
  • Responding appropriately to typical work situations; and
  • Responding appropriately to changes in the work routine.

If you have a mental disorder and your RFC is an issue in your case, you must be prepared to testify at your hearing about your inability to perform these activities. For example, you may be asked questions about your ability to:

  • Arrive on time and maintain a good attendance record;
  • Work on a schedule;
  • Work at a consistent and reasonable pace;
  • Maintain your concentration over an extended period of time (approximately 2 hours at a time); and
  • Ask questions and request assistance when needed.

If your case involves a mental disorder, an experienced Charlotte disability lawyer can help you prove your limited ability to work. Please contact us if you would like to schedule a time to talk.