A Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) Assessment is often required in the SSA disability determination procedure. Your Denver disability lawyer can explain what exactly will be expected of you, but this article gives you some idea of what to expect.

As you respond to these questions, be prepared to estimate your capacity to do these activities on a day-to-day basis, eight hours a day, five days a week, approximately 50 weeks a year in a regular work setting. It is important that you also offer examples of your limitations due to your disability.

If your disability affects your ability to sit, this will disqualify you from a wide variety of sedentary jobs. But you must be able to answer these questions.


  1. Do you currently experience any difficulties with sitting?
  2. How long can you sit without felling discomfort?
  3. How long can you sit during an eight-hour working day (with typical breaks?)
  4. When you do sit, can you sit without (i) squirming, or (ii) leaning on your elbows?
  5. When you sit, can you sit?
    1. At a desk?
    2. In an armless chair?
    3. On a stool that is backless?
    4. At a bench?
    5. On a high stool that is backless?
    6. On a high stool that has a back?
    7. With your arms extended?
    8. With your hands available to manipulate and move objects?
    9. With your neck in a slightly bent forward position?
    10.  In a work-like position?

If pain limits your sitting tolerance, describe the following;

  1. Any changes you have experienced in the pain:
    1. How does the pain feel? Describe the quality or type of pain.
  2. The radiation of the pain:
    1. Describe the intensity of the pain.
    2. What do you do to try to control the pain (e.g. standing up, shifting position, leaning forward, etc.)
  3. If you must rise from the chair:
    1. How long can you sit before you must stand up?
    2. How long do you then stand? Walk? Lie down?
    3. How long before you can once again sit down?
  4. When you sit, do you need to elevate a leg?
    1. If so, right or left?
    2.  If so, how long, how often, how high? 

What happens when you try to get up from sitting?

  1. Do you need help?
  2. Do you have any difficulty when you first stand up (e.g. pain, stiffness, dizziness?)
  3. What is the duration of these symptoms?

It is important to prepare for the questions that will come your way. John Cimino is a Denver disability lawyer who understands how the SSA makes its disability determinations. Mr. Cimino is available for a complimentary consultation at (303)830-7135.