Many Social Security Disability applicants do not realize just how intensive the claim process is until they begin filling out the necessary paperwork and forms that are required to file a disability claim with the Social Security Administration. The amount of paperwork required can be overwhelming, to say the least.
Understanding the forms that are needed can help alleviate some of the stress associated with the disability claim process. However, there is one form that is not actually required by you, as an applicant. Nonetheless, this form should definitely be submitted. This form is the Residual Functional Capacity Form, also known as the RFC.
The following information can help you understand what an RFC form is, how to fill it out and how to file the form with the Social Security Administration.
What Is The RFC Form?
The RFC form is the Residual Functional Capacity form that helps the Social Security Administration rate the functional capacity of a Social Security Disability applicant after taking the applicant's mental or physical disability into account. These forms are used by the SSA's Disability Determination Services office to process a claim for disability benefits.
Your Social Security Disability application cannot be processed with the completion of the SSA's RFC forms. However, you do not fill out this form yourself. The adjudicator reviewing your claim takes your file to the SSA's Disability Determination Services office to have a DDS specialist fill out the RFC for your file.
What the SSA does not often tell applicants is that you can have this form filled out by your doctor as well, which can increase your chances of being awarded Social Security Disability benefits.
How to File the RFC
When you submit a claim for Social Security Disability benefits, the adjudicator reviewing your file will present your case to a DDS specialist, who will fill out an RFC and will rate your residual functional capacity. This form will be used to support either the approval or denial of your Social Security Disability claim.
Consider Having Your Doctor Fill Out the Form For You
In order to increase your chances of winning your Social Security Disability case, you should have your own doctor fill out an RFC form as well. Because your own doctor will have a better understanding of how your disability affects you, they will be able to more accurately present your limitations and your residual functional capacity to the Social Security Administration.
If you want your doctor to fill out an RFC for you, you will need to bring the form in for them to fill out. You can request the RFC form from your local Social Security office or you can download it directly from the Social Security website. Once you have obtained the form, take it with you to your doctor's office and have them complete the form for you.
Once your doctor has completed and signed the RFC form, you will need to submit the form with the other required paperwork when filing your Social Security Disability claim.
While the RFC form may not make much of a difference during the initial stage of the Social Security Disability application process, it is said that the administrative law judges who review Social Security Disability appeals often give great weight to RFC forms that are completed by an applicant's physician.
If you did not present an RFC form with your initial Social Security Disability application, you should definitely submit one to the judge who will be presiding over your disability hearing.
Consult with a Social Security Attorney
If you have obtained legal representation to represent you through your disability claim and at your disability hearing, he or she can obtain the proper RFC form and have it completed by your physician. Your lawyer will then submit the form for review so it will be considered at your disability hearing.
If you have not yet hired an attorney to represent you in your Social Security Disability claim, it may be in your best interest to consider doing so.
Statistics show that applicants who have legal representation during the application and appeal process are more likely to be awarded benefits than applicants who choose to represent themselves.