Winning Social Security Disability or SSI with the help of an RFC form

I got some very nice comments from Kevin who stated that he believes the RFC forms provided on may have helped him win his case. I was gratified to read his comments so I have posted them here.

This is what I usually say about RFC forms. They can be invaluable at a disability hearing (and if your disability lawyer doesn't at least try to get a completed RFC statement from your doctors, think about getting a new lawyer). However, at the lower levels, including the application for disability and the request for reconsideration appeal, there's no real guarantee of how effective an RFC form can be.

Here's what I mean. When I was a disability examiner for social security, we routinely received supporting statements from the doctors of claimants. Typically, our front line management was of a mind to completely discount those statements. For the most part, DDS (disability determination services) will simply not give the same credence to a doctor's RFC statement as will a disability judge at a hearing.

However, let me also say this. 99 percent of the time that we did receive statements from doctors at the initial claim and reconsideration levels, we didn't get a real RFC form from them. We received only a short, barely substantiated statement that said nothing about the claimant's functional limitations. In other words, it was practically useless. Had we gotten a real RC form completed by a claimant's treating physician, who knows? It might have actually made the difference on the case.

This is why I believe the social security administration should send RFC forms to every claimant's treating physician. They won't, of course. It would cost more money (you'd have to reimburse the physician certainly, in addition to reimbursement for records) and more cases would be won, which would also cost more in benefits payable.

Kevin's comments are below.

"I used the form. It took a little effort on my part to have them fill it out but I believe this is one reason I was approved in (what I think is an astonishing time) of 107 days. Thank You once again."

About the Author: Tim Moore is a former Social Security Disability Examiner in North Carolina, has been interviewed by the NY Times and the LA Times on the disability system, and is an Accredited Disability Representative (ADR) in North Carolina. For assistance on a disability application or Appeal in NC, click here.

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