Using an RFC Form to Win a Disability Case
I just got some very nice comments from Kevin who stated that he believes the RFC forms provided on the home page of DisabilitySecrets.com 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'd also like to thank Dave for his nice comments in the preceding post. It was really interesting to receive comments and perspective from someone who used to work in a field office as a CR (my wife is a CR and a former examiner) and as a manager. Dave has an interesting blog titled "Disabled Persons United" which I will be adding to my blogroll monday morning.
If you'd like free mental or physical RFC forms, simply go to www.disabilitysecrets.com, scroll to the bottom of them page, and download the forms (they are in word format). However, please note that this is not the same form that is used by DDS examiners (primarily to deny cases). It is instead a form that was created to replace a number of different RFC forms that addressed individual impairments. In other words, it was designed to capture everything that might be relevant to functional limitations for use at a hearing, though it can be used effectively at the application and reconsideration levels. The form was designed a few years ago and has been used in several thousand disability hearings by now.
I used the forms for both doctors (Psychiatrist, And Medical). 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. As I stated before I used most if not ALL of your secrets to my advantage. Thank You once again, KevinP Madkevinp
Return to the Social Security Disability SSI Benefits Blog
Income from a spouse - will it affect whether or not I can get disability ?
Social Security Disability and Lowered IQ
Are there disability benefits for children?
Social Security Disability Hearing
What does Social Security Disability consider a Mental Impairment?
Applying for Social Security Disability in Michigan