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What is Mental Residual Functional Capacity?

Definition of Mental Residual Functional Capacity

Mental health disorders can present symptoms and behaviors which cover a wide spectrum of symptoms, from the minor emotional disturbance to the dangerous. The Social Security Administration evaluates a claimant's mental health disorder to determine if they have any mental residual functional capacity to work and if the claimant can perform substantial gainful activity. Regulations No. 4, section 404.1545(c)/416.945(c), identifies specific issues which should be evaluated for mental health disorders. Factors which are considered for a mental health claimant include the following: the ability for the claimant to understand, follow instructions, maintain persistence and pace, get along with co-workers/supervisors and maintain a routine work schedule. The Social Security Administration will use historical findings, observations and psychological testing to determine the frequency and intensity of a Social Security Disability claimant's depression, confusion, behaviors, symptoms, paranoia, anxiety or tension. Information documenting a claimant's normal daily activities and testimonies from friends and family are also considered. Inferences are drawn from all medical evidence to determine the claimant's level of mental and intellectual functioning and whether or not they could function in a work-like setting. Mental Residual Functional Assessments are completed to document all functional limits for working and maintaining a regular work schedule.

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