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Questions Related To Residual Functional Capacity

Social Security and SittingSocial Security and Sitting

One issue encountered by Michigan Social Security lawyers assisting claimants at their disability hearing is their residual functional capacity (RFC).

If you are asked about your RFC, you should be prepared to give your estimations on your abilities, as they would be applied in a regular work setting. In other words, you will be asked if you could perform specific activities over an eight-hour day, for the duration of a typical five-day work week, and for fifty weeks during the year.

Below is a very detailed example of what kinds of questions you may be asked with respect to your RFC. While the following questions only relate to one specific activity, you should be prepared to answer questions about other activities as well. Also, even if you aren’t asked, you should be sure to offer examples of how your disability has limited you.

Issues with Sitting

  • Duration.
    • How long can you sit in one continuous stretch?
    • During a typical work day (assuming normal breaks), how much total time can you sit for?
    • What happens if you sit too long?
  • Physical Limitations In Connection With Sitting.
    • Can you sit without squirming or leaning on elbows?
    • Can you sit in a work-like position?
    • Can you sit with your arms extended forward?
    • Can you sit while having your hands available to move or operate equipment?
    • Can you sit while having your neck bent slightly forward?
    • Do you have to elevate your legs? If so, which leg? Both? How long do you need to elevate it? How high?
  • What kind of chair are you sitting in?
    • On a stool? Does it have a back or not? How high is the stool?
    • In an office chair? Does it have arms or not?
    • Are you sitting at a desk?
    • Are you sitting at a bench?
  • If your ability to sit is affected by pain, please describe the pain.
    • Does the pain change while you are sitting?
    • What does the pain feel like?
    • Does the pain radiate?
    • How intense is the pain?
    • Are you doing anything to alleviate the pain? (e.g. leaning, standing up, moving around in the chair)
  • Getting up.
    • How long can you sit before getting out of your chair?
    • How long can you stand? How long can you walk? How long can you lie down?
    • After getting up, how long is it before you can resume sitting?
    • Do you need assistance to get up?
    • Do you have a hard time standing upon immediately getting up?
    • Do you experience any pain, dizziness, or stiffness upon standing? How long does it last?
  • Activities. Are you limited from doing any of the following activities while sitting?
    • Driving a vehicle.
    • Eating a meal at dining table.
    • Reading your mail.
    • Watching television.
    • Going to the movies.
    • Watching live sporting events.

If you would like to discuss a RFC or other disability issue with an experienced Michigan Social Security lawyer, please contact J.B. Bieske and Jennifer Alfonsi, Attorneys at Law, to schedule a consultation.

J.B. Bieske & Jennifer Alfonsi, Attorneys at Law

19991 Hall Road, Suite 202
Macomb, MI 48044
Phone: 586-977-8100
Fax: 586-977-8444

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