What is Residual Functional Capacity or RFC?

RFC is the most a person can do despite that person’s limitations. 20 C.F.R. § 404.1545(a)(1). A claimant’s RFC is assessed using all relevant evidence in the record. These records may include medical records, observations of treating physicians and others, and the claimant’s own descriptions of his or her limitations. Guilliams v. Barnhart, 393 F.3d 798, 801 (8th Cir. 2005); Eichelberger v. Barnhart, 390 F.3d 584, 591 (8th Cir. 2004). Limitations resulting from symptoms such as pain are also factored into the assessment. 20 C.F.R. § 404.1545(a)(3). According to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, a “claimant’s residual functional capacity is a medical question.” Lauer v. Apfel, 245 F.3d 700, 704 (8th Cir. 2001). Therefore, an ALJ’s determination concerning a claimant’s RFC must be supported by medical evidence that addresses the claimant’s ability to function in the workplace.” Lewis v. Barnhart, 353 F.3d 642, 646 (8th Cir. 2003).