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How Does the RFC form Impact Your Disability Claim?

Anyone who has even considered applying for Social Security Disability will tell you that there are a lot of acronyms. An individual pursuing Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income will quickly learn that DDS is an abbreviation for Disability Determination Section. They also quickly find out that ALJ means Administrative Law Judge, and DE is short for Disability Examiner. Even Social Security Administration is typically abbreviated to SSA. But one acronym that many Social Security applicants may not be aware of is RFC.

RFC is short for residual functional capacity. Now that you know what the letters stand for, you’ll likely want to know what it means. Here is how the SSA explains RFC:

“Residual functional capacity assessment. Your impairment(s), and any related symptoms, such as pain, may cause physical and mental limitations that affect what you can do in a work setting. Your residual functional capacity is the most you can still do despite your limitations. We will assess your residual functional capacity based on all the relevant evidence in your case record.”

Essentially, SSA is determining what limitations you may have due to your conditions. For instance, back pain may limit your ability to stand for longer than 4 hours out of an 8 hour day or social anxiety may limit your ability to work with the general public.  SSA will be looking to see if there are still jobs within the national economy that you can do despite the limitations defined within your RFC.

If you have multiple disabilities, SSA will consider the combined limitations established for all of them to determine your ability to work. For instance, your back pain may limit you to only performing sedentary type jobs but your mental health diagnosis also limits your ability to concentrate for longer than 30 minutes at a time.  The physical & mental limitations combined would further reduce the jobs you could perform than only one limitation by itself. That’s why it’s important to list ALL of your disabilities when you apply for benefits. Or, if you’re working with an attorney, you’ll want to make sure they’re aware of all of your disabilities, as well as the ways in which they limit you.

Now that you understand the basics of RFC, you may be curious as to who determines your RFC. Actually, it’s a combination of people. Disability Determination Services is a state agency, and is the first level of determining disability benefits. DDS has individuals called Disability Examiners who work with a medical consultant to determine your RFC. These individuals consider limitations your doctor has assigned you, such as the inability to stand more than 10 minutes or lift more than 10 pounds. This is why it is extremely important to have your doctor document the limitations along with your symptoms within your medical records.

The RFC is first used to determine if you can do the type of work that you’ve done for the past 15 years. If you’ve done sedentary work for the past 15 years and your RFC states that you can do light work, which is above sedentary work, they will likely suggest that you return to your previous type of work. If the Disability Examiner determines you can’t do your prior job, they will then determine whether, given your RFC, your age, your education, and your skills, you should be able to learn another job.

This can be a difficult process to understand and navigate. That’s why so many people turn to the team at Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law to help them get the benefits they deserve. If you’d like to know more about the services we offer, or if you’d like a free consultation, give us a call today. Our toll-free number is 1-877-526-3457. If you can’t talk to us now, fill out this form so that we may call you at a better time.

Social Security Disability Lawyers: Are They Expensive?

SSD Lawyer

Despite the complicated claims process associated with social security disability benefits, there are still plenty of people that are reluctant to hire a lawyer. For most, it’s simply a matter of practicality. After all, aren’t SSD lawyers expensive? At Jan Dils, we feel it’s important to be as transparent as possible, and a large part of that transparency means addressing how expensive SSD lawyers are, as well as where the money charged ultimately comes from.

Put simply, social security disability lawyers behave differently from many other attorney services. In order for us, or any social security disability lawyer, to collect a payment, we must first win your case. If the claim is rejected, or we lose the appeal process, then you are not held liable for any payments. As a result, we have just as much of a stake in your claim as you do.

If we do manage to win your claim though, then we’re restricted to only collecting 25% of your disability backpay, up to a maximum of $6,000. While this may sound like a large amount of money, it’s important to remember that SSD claims involve a great deal of negotiation. Of course, there are a few minor out-of-pocket expenses that you might be responsible for, such as paying for costs associated with medical records or for postage, but you should never have to pay an SSD attorney outside of their contingency fee from winning.

If you believe that you might qualify for social security disability and are in need of the services of a knowledgeable social security disability lawyer, then be sure to contact Jan Dils today. We always fight for our clients through each stage of the process, in order to ensure that our clients get everything that they are owed. Since SSD lawyers don’t get paid unless you do, our services are virtually risk-free and will only help to improve the chances of your claim succeeding.

Will Your Social Security Disability Benefits Be Taxable?

With tax season fresh on everyone’s mind, you may be wondering if the Social Security Disability benefits you’re applying for will be taxed.

The short answer? No, if you’re applying for the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. And for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), it varies based on your income level.

Many who receive SSDI benefits must pay federal income taxes for them, but this will not exceed 85% of the total amount. This applies to anyone who files a federal tax return with a combined income of over $25,000 for individual and $32,000 for a joint return. The actual percentage varies based on which monthly income bracket you fall under.

It’s important to remember that SSDI and other Social Security benefits are taxed at the marginal income tax rate, so it will probably equate to much less (around 10-15% of your benefits) when all is said and done. Certain states also tax a portion of Social Security benefits.

If you believe you qualify for SSI or SSDI and have questions about taxes or anything else about the application process, you can schedule a free initial consultation with an experienced member of our staff today. We can be reached toll-free at 1.877.526.3457 or via our online contact form.