In R6, the J-based failure assessment diagram (FAD) method is used in the fracture assessment and is underpinned by the reference stress J scheme. Therefore, an assessment using the R6 FAD method is equivalent to a J prediction using the reference stress method. In this paper, the effect of global and local limit load solutions for defective elbows on the reference stress and hence the J predictions is investigated using published three-dimensional elastic-plastic finite element (FE) J results, in order to create guidance for users to follow when performing structural integrity assessments of defective elbows using the R6 procedure. The results show that using the global limit load solutions recommended in this paper can lead to good and reasonably conservative J predictions. However, the availability of global limit load solutions is very limited. The results also show that using the local limit load evaluated from the local limit load model recommended in this paper can lead to conservative J predictions for most of the cases considered.