Residual Functional Capacity Assessment for Crohn's Disease
What Is RFC?
If your Crohn's disease is not severe enough to meet or equal a listing at Step 3 of the Sequential Evaluation Process, the Social Security Administration will need to determine your residual functional capacity (RFC) to decide whether you are disabled at Step 4 and Step 5 of the Sequential Evaluation Process. RFC is a claimant’s ability to perform work-related activities. In other words, it is what you can still do despite your limitations. An RFC for physical impairments is expressed in terms of whether Social Security Administration believes you can do heavy, medium, light, or sedentary work in spite of your impairments. The lower your RFC, the less the Social Security Administration believes you can do.
Even if your Crohn's disease is less than the 5.06 listing level your life may be completely disrupted by your impairments. The symptoms often make it difficult to cope with life, let alone work.
One possible symptom is malnutrition that is not severe enough to satisfy listing 5.08, but is enough to affect your strength and stamina.
Other symptoms that may contribute to RFC are feelings of malaise and lack of energy. However, these symptoms are difficult to quantify so it is important to have documentation both through your own symptom diary and through medical records.
You may have psychological impairments that are associated with your Crohn's disease. These may include malaise or lack of energy that also show up as physical impairments. You may also suffer from poor coping skills in dealing with Crohn's disease.
These types of symptoms will need to be carefully evaluated and shown in correlation with physical symptoms.
Continue to Getting Your Doctor's Medical Opinion About What You Can Still Do or Crohn's and Colitis Medical Source Statement.
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