The Social Security Administration (SSA) must determine whether or not your disability prevents you from working in order to decide if you qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. One tool that the SSA uses to make this decision is the residual functional capacity (RFC) form.
What is the RFC Form?
Your RFC Is basically a measure of what type of work you are capable of doing and how long you are capable of doing it.
The disability examiner that reviews your application for benefits will ask a medical consultant within the SSA to assess your RFC and complete the RFC form. To complete the form, these medical consultants will use the information provided in your medical records to address your physical and mental limitations that could affect your ability to work.
The completed form is then given back to the disability examiner, who will use it to decide whether or not you qualify for benefits.
For example, if the medical consultant’s RFC form shows that your work restrictions do not affect your ability to work, the disability examiner will deny your application for benefits.
Why Should You Ask Your Doctor to Fill Out An RFC Form?
Your doctor is not required to fill out an RFC form on your behalf. But submitting an RFC form from your doctor could strengthen your claim. This is especially true if your initial application was denied and you are trying to appeal the decision.
During the appeals process, an administrative law judge will review your existing application and allow you to present new evidence to support your claim. Many administrative law judges value the treating physician’s opinion in these matters. They realize that the treating physician knows your condition better than a medical consultant working for the SSA, so submitting an RFC form from your doctor could help them understand why you need disability benefits.
Don’t assume that you don’t need to ask your doctor for an RFC form simply because you are submitting medical records. It’s hard for a judge to understand how the condition described in your medical records affects your ability to work. But submitting an RFC form from your doctor will help the judge connect the dots.
For these reasons, it’s in your best interest to ask your doctor if they would be willing to fill out an RFC form on your behalf.
Are you applying for disability benefits? If so, turn to the experienced attorneys at Armstrong & Vaught, P.L.C. for help. Let us help you secure the disability benefits you deserve. Call us now at 918-582-2500, toll free at (800) 722-8880, or contact us online for a free consultation with a skilled attorney.