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    Beth Alpert & Associates

    53 W. Jackson
    Chicago, IL 60604-3607
    312-427-2611 phone
    312-427-2644 fax

    Mental Retardation

    Residual Functional Capacity Assessment for Mental Retardation

    What Is RFC?

    When your charge’s mental retardation 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 charge’s residual functional capacity (RFC) to decide whether your charge is 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 your charge can still do despite his or her limitations. An RFC for physical impairments is expressed in terms of whether the Social Security Administration believes your charge can do heavymediumlight, or sedentary work in spite of his or her impairments. The lower your charge’s RFC, the less the Social Security Administration believes he or she can do.

    Assessing Impairment Caused by Mental Retardation

    See Assessing Impairment Caused by Organic Mental Disorders. Claimants with IQ scores above 70 are usually able to perform unskilled work. There are rare individuals with IQ scores over 75 who have such poor adaptive function that they can also be allowed as equivalent severity or on a medical-vocational basis by being unable to perform some critical aspect of unskilled work, but would not be considered mentally retarded—a diagnostic hair-splitting of trivial practical significance. As IQs approach 80, it is nearly impossible to credibly justify an allowance under the listing or on a medical-vocational basis by virtue of poor adaptive function.

    Continue to How to Get Disability Benefits for Mental Retardation by Meeting a Listing.

    Go back to Getting Your Charge’s Doctor’s Medical Opinion About What Your Charge Can Still Do.