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Disability Law Offices of Tony Adderley

Your “RFC Level” – What Is It?

  • By: Tony Adderley
  • Published: March 27, 2015
Your “RFC Level” – What Is It?

When you apply for Social Security disability benefits, your claim will be judged on the basis of your age, your work history, and your “RFC” or “Residual Functional Capacity.” Social Security guidelines define three RFC “exertional levels”: sedentary, light, and medium. New disability applicants will be assigned to one of those three categories.

If you’re confused, you aren’t alone. Understanding “RFC levels” is just the start of the complicated application process for disability benefits. If you’re unable to work in the Los Angeles area, get the help you need when you apply for disability benefits and contact an experienced Los Angeles Social Security disability attorney promptly. Residual Functional Capacity is essentially a measurement of how much and how long you’re able to exert yourself in a workplace situation. As defined by the Social Security Administration (SSA), the three RFC levels are:

  • Sedentary: you have the ability to sit in one spot or position for six hours of an eight-hour day and the ability to lift up to ten pounds intermittently.
  • Light: you have the ability to walk or stand for six hours of an eight-hour day and the ability to lift up to twenty pounds intermittently.
  • Medium: you have the ability to walk or stand for six hours of an eight-hour day and the ability to lift twenty-five pounds frequently and fifty pounds intermittently.

When your RFC level is determined, it is entered by the SSA into a “vocational grid” to decide your claim’s legitimacy. For example, a claim for a 40-year-old applicant with a sedentary RFC level will probably be denied. In some cases, an applicant’s claim can be approved even if the vocational grid does not mandate automatic approval, because the SSA must also consider the cognitive, psychological, and emotional limits upon an applicant’s ability to work.

Obtaining disability benefits is not easy, but a good disability lawyer knows what is required. If you are applying to receive Social Security disability benefits in the Los Angeles area, or if you need to learn more about disability benefits and the application process, speak as quickly as possible with an experienced Los Angeles Social Security disability attorney.

About the Author Tony Adderley has been working as a professional advocate for
individuals entitled to Social Security Disability (SSD) and worker’s
compensation benefits for more than 20 years.