What Disability Determination Services And Residual Functioning Capacity Mean For Social Security Applicants

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The above terms look quite intimidating for those who just need some help with a disability. Those terms and others like them not only sound complicated, but they often can be. They can be so complicated, in fact, that many Social Security applicants cannot successfully navigate the system to get the benefits they need and deserve. If you have been unable to work at your job because of a medical or mental health condition, read on to find out what the above terms mean to your ability to get paid benefits.

Qualifying for Benefits

If the terms Disability Determination Services (DDS) and residual functioning capacity (RFC) should mean anything at all to applicants, they mean getting approved or denied Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. DDS is a sub-group of the Social Security Administration (SSA) and they specialize in taking a deeper look at Social Security applications. With stringent qualifying standards, many applicants fail to completely fulfill the requirements based on a given medical condition. That is where DDS comes in. The caseworkers in that division attempt to stretch definitions of conditions, expand similar medical conditions, and more — all in the name of ensuring that those who need benefits get them. The term RFC is a bit more complex.

Residual Functioning Capacity

RFC can be defined as the skills you have and the job tasks you can still do given your disability. If you can't do any job tasks, then you could be approved for benefits. The DDS, once they match your affliction with the qualifying symptoms and diagnostics, perform an evaluation of an applicant's RFC before they make a decision on the case. The exertion it takes to perform certain common work tasks like walking, bending, carrying objects, and others are measured based on the information contained in the application and with other information provided by the applicant's doctor. The RFC results in a report that gives the caseworker's opinion as to how well the applicant can perform medium, light, sedentary, and other levels of work.

If you are unable to work at your most recent position, you are then evaluated for other positions. Unfortunately, some applicants are not qualified to work at other jobs regardless of their functioning level. That, however, is the point at which the application for benefits is denied. To be approved for benefits, the applicant has to appear at an appeal hearing in person and explain why they cannot work at any job due to their medical condition. To assist with that goal, talk to a Social Security lawyer about your case and get approved for the benefits you deserve.

Contact a law firm like the Attorney John B. Martin Law Offices to learn more.