Your Legal Rights at Work

3 Tips For Using An RFC Form When Filing For Social Security Disability Benefits

by Lewis Hamilton

Individuals who become disabled can find it challenging to support themselves financially. A disability has the potential to interfere with your ability to perform work-related tasks easily and comfortably over time.

Social Security Disability benefits are designed to help offer financial support to any individual affected by a disability. The Social Security Administration relies on a book which lists the qualifying criteria for each recognized disability.

Not all disability benefits applicants will meet the listing criteria, despite being severely disabled. Your attorney can help you use a residual functional capacity (RFC) form in these situations.

1. Identify Your Condition

The first step in the application process when you are trying to obtain disability benefits is to have a doctor accurately diagnose your condition. Your attorney will be able to use the information found in your medical file to determine if you do or do not meet the listing criteria set forth by the Social Security Administration.

If your attorney decides that an RFC will be needed in your case, the diagnosing doctor's notes can provide valuable information that will be used throughout the application process.

2. Get an RFC From Your Doctor

Once it is determined that an RFC will be needed to assess the severity of your disability, you have a few options available to you. The Social Security Administration can appoint someone to review your medical history and generate an RFC on your behalf.

The danger in this approach is that you never meet with the reviewer and he or she doesn't have access to background information that might be pertinent to your case.

Your social security lawyer can work with your personal doctor to prepare an RFC that truly reflects the functional limitations of your disability so that you can maximize your potential for success when applying for benefits.

3. Obtain the Right RFC

There are a few different types of RFC evaluations available to help provide accurate assessments of all disabilities. If your problems are physical, then a physical RFC form will be used. If a mental illness or emotional instability are creating your disability, then a mental RFC will be the better option.

An attorney who has experience handling Social Security applications will be able to help ensure that you receive access to the correct RFC.

Since this can mean the difference between approval and denial, it's critical that you allow your attorney to review any information you provide in reference to your application before this information is submitted.