Mental Residual Functional Capacity in Clearwater SSDI Claims


The Social Security Administration (SSA) defines mental residual functional capacity as someone’s maximum capability, considering their mental health diagnoses. The SSA will look to determine if that person is going to be limited to unskilled work or if they are going to be limited to only occasional contact with other people in a work environment. Depending upon what Social Security concludes that a person’s mental residual functional capacity is, the severity of those conditions and/or symptoms can limit one’s mental residual functional capacity to be inconsistent with any work or job.

If you have any questions regarding mental residual functional capacity in Clearwater SSDI claims, reach out to an experienced SSDI lawyer.

Determining Mental Residual Functional Capacity

Mental factors are evaluated in determining mental residual functional capacity in Clearwater SSDI claims. The mental health symptoms will be evaluated in the context of one’s ability to do complete specific activities, which includes:

  • Ability to remember work-like procedures
  • Understanding and remembering instructions
  • Maintaining attention and concentration
  • Ability to work in coordination with others
  • Make simple work-related decisions
  • Perform at a consistent pace without interruptions from mental health symptoms

When determining mental residual functional capacity, the administration is looking to see if the person is going to be able to show up to work every day or if the person’s mental health symptoms are going to interfere with their ability to do all things that are required on the job. There are many factors involved, such as the intensity, frequency, and duration of these mental health symptoms.

How Work History Impacts a Claim

The importance of someone’s work history in determining if their mental illness qualifies them for SSDI benefits boils down to if they have done skilled work or unskilled work. The SSA will consider the person’s work history.

If someone has a work history that mostly is unskilled work and they do not know how to do anything else besides unskilled work, that can play a role in the ultimate decision. The SAA will evaluate the skills an individual acquired in their past work and determine if those skills can be transferred and used in other types of work and how mental illness may limit the use of those skills.

Psychological Evaluations

The SSA will recommend an individual for a psychological evaluation if the claimant is alleging disability as a result of depression and anxiety and the applicant has only been treated by a family or internal medicine doctor. Social Security will want to send this claimant out for a psychological evaluation to get a more specific diagnostic impression from a specialist to develop their record.

These psychological evaluations are conducted by a psychiatrist or a psychologist. Social Security has a sort of internal list that they use. Usually, the claimant will report to someone who is within a certain range of where they reside so the doctor often gets chosen based on where the claimant resides.

How Does SSA Evaluate Subjective Evidence?

SSA has to evaluate subjective evidence. Generally, that subjective evidence needs to be tied to objective evidence. If someone is alleging depression and anxiety and all they have ever treated with is an internal medicine doctor and there is no diagnosis of depression, Social Security will probably conclude that the depression, at least from an objective standpoint, is not severe.

Eventually, the importance of subjective evidence ties into objective evidence. The claimant and the medical records will need to establish clear medical diagnostic impressions and then the subjectiveness can come into play in terms of how bad things are: the intensity, the frequency, and the duration of the symptoms.

Call today for more information about mental residual functional capacity in Clearwater SSDI claims and how an attorney could help you.

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