Violet got more RFC function forms than anyone I have ever met – including one form that was so good it was the key to winning her disability case. If you’d like to learn more about RFC forms and get sample forms you can print and bring to your doctors, see links at the bottom of this page.
Violet: One of my doctors was a really nice guy, but he had stacks of paper all over his desk. I imagined my disability form sitting there in one of his piles. So I made an appointment to have him fill it out. It worked so well that I did the same thing with all my doctors.
Lily: Yes. That is the smart way to do it!!
Violet: I just knew they weren’t going to fill out the forms if I didn’t sit there with them. I mean, if I were a doctor, filling out someone’s disability paperwork would be my last priority.
Lily: Absolutely correct. How many doctors filled out a function form for you?
Lily: Oh my God. You are a superhero. I have never met anyone with more than two.
Violet: It was a nightmare. One week I had five appointments. I was too sick to take public transportation and I had to get rides. But the doctors did fill out the forms. I think it was harder for them to put it off with me sitting there.
Lily: What doctors were you seeing?
Violet: I was seeing multiple specialists. I wasn’t seeing them for my disability application. I didn’t even think I was going to apply. I was convinced they were going to fix me. But then I just kept getting worse and worse.
Lily: Exactly what happened to me. Do you remember what type of doctors they were?
Violet: Neurologist, Occupational Medicine Specialist, Psychiatrist, Psychologist, Rheumatologist, Immunologist, Orthopedic Doctor, and Pain Specialist. When I asked about the form, several of them said no. I was surprised.
Lily: It’s common for some doctors to say no. Five out of eight is a good return.
Violet: Why do they say no?
Lily: Some doctors have a policy of “no disability paperwork.” They don’t like to be bothered with paperwork. And some doctors have a personal bias against disability. They won’t support ANY patients to be on disability.
Violet: I did run across a couple of those. I mean they saw me getting worse and worse and they still didn’t want to write something for me.
Lily: Sometimes doctors that are really nice still won’t fill out forms. Other times a doctor who is not that friendly will turn out to be great at paperwork. Some doctors are great at treatment and terrible at forms, and vice versa.
Violet: The best form I got was from an occupational health doctor I was seeing for my repetitive stress injury. He really knew what to write.
Lily: My experience is: If you ask enough doctors, you will discover that one knows how to do a good job with Social Security forms. You asked eight doctors, five said yes, and one turned out to be really great at filling out forms. Those odds sound about right to me.
Violet: I really lucked out with my occupational medicine doctor. I think his form was the main reason I won my case.
Lily: What did you say to get the doctors to fill out the forms?
Violet: I called in advance and made an appointment to fill out the form. I brought the form with me. I wasted a lot of appointments filling out forms instead of getting treatment.
Lily: Not wasted. Smart!!!!
Violet: When they were filling out the forms, some doctors asked me questions about my Activities of Daily Living. They asked what daily activities I could and couldn’t do and what my limitations were.
Lily: Yes, it’s great you met with them in person. Doctors don’t remember or know all the specifics about your life. They are not there with you when you go to take a bath or brush your teeth.
Violet: If I wasn’t there, they might have made a guess and it probably would have been wrong. I didn’t want them to wing it
Lily: Many people just send the form to their doctor, or let their lawyer send it, I think this is a mistake. Some people hand the doctor the form right in the middle of a treatment visit. The doctor doesn’t really have time to deal with it then.
Violet: It seems like a bad idea
Lily: I really liked the way you handled things
Violet: I spent a lot of appointments nagging doctors and filling out forms, but it was worth it.
Lily: How did things turn out with your hearing?
Violet: When I got to court, the lawyer said I had the best documentation she had seen all month. I got approved for Fibro, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, musculoskeletal problems and psych. It was fully favorable so I got backpay and Medicare right away.
Some people get a letter from their doctor instead of an RFC Function form. Both ways are good, but the letter needs to include certain things: How to Get a Great Letter from Your Doc