If you are applying for disability, you may be surprised to learn that Social Security is not going to ask your doctor any questions about you!
They will just collect your regular medical records and you have to hope that what is already in there is good enough. Sometimes they don’t even collect all your records.
Luckily, there is a special form you can ask your doctor to fill out. This form will tell Social Security a whole lot more about you and your disability.
Many disability lawyers say this is the most important form in your whole file. It is called an Residual Function Capacity (RFC) form, and if you can get one, you want one!
Where do I find an RFC Function Form?
Social Security has it’s own RFC function form, but most lawyers do not use this one. I would recommend not using the Social Security form because it is missing some key questions that can be very important in winning a case.
Here are some excellent forms that include more specific questions that can help your case. You can print them out and bring them to your doctor yourself:
- Physical Function Form for All Conditions – Ideally, this would be filled out by any doctor that is an acceptable medical source.
- Mental Function Form – Ideally, this would be filled out by a licensed psychiatrist or licensed psychologist. If you are seeing more than one practitioner, then you could have a second form filled out by a therapist, counselor or Social Worker.
- Fibromyalgia Function Form – This can be filled out by any primary care doctor, but it is better if it is filled out by a rheumatologist.
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Function Form – This can be filled out by any doctor that has diagnosed you with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Ideally, this doctor will be an acceptable medical source.
How do I get a function form filled out?
If you have a lawyer, your lawyer can send the form to your doctor for you, but it is much much better to set up a special appointment with to sit with your doctor while she fills out the form. If you don’t believe me, just ask Violet: How Violet Won Her Case Using Function Forms
How many RFC forms do I need?
You only need one. If you can get more than one, that is extra great! If you have more than one doctor, it is great to get more than one rfc as long as both forms say similar things about how disabled you are. It is extremely important that at least one of your doctors is an acceptable medical source. If it has been more than a year since your rfc was filled out, you can consider asking your doctor to fill out an additional new one, if they are willing.
What’s the Catch?
I know what you’re thinking: Yipee!! I want me one of those great RFC Function Forms!!! Sign me up!!
But wait… don’t run out and get one just yet…. there’s a problem. Sometimes a function form gets ignored, or doesn’t help your case, or may even hurt your case!
No worries. You can avoid any of these problems and get the function form of your dreams. Here’s how to avoid function form mistakes
Meeting with Your Doc
When your doctor fills out the forms, she may ask you some questions to better understand your daily activities and limitations. It is important to be honest. If you have good and bad days, many disability lawyers suggest using the magic words “When my symptoms are bad…” Learn more: How Roselyn Used the Magic Words
In checking the site stats, I can’t help but notice that 200 people have clicked on this page on how to get an rfc form, but only 70 people have clicked on the link on how to avoid rfc form mistakes. That’s a little worrying.
Once again: how to avoid function form mistakes
Updated April 2017 by Lily Silver. Please comment below with stories, questions, input or ideas. Please let me know if any links on this page stop working.