If you want to win Social Security disability benefits, in my opinion it is essential to get a Residual Functional Capacity statement.
It is the single most important step in a Social Security disability case.
These RFCs go by a lot of different names: Medical Source Statement, Medical Opinion, Narrative. However, Residual Functional Capacity simply means what you can still do despite your disabilities and impairments. Put another way, your RFC is what you can do considering your workplace limitations.
Since Social Security disability cases focus on your ability to work, your RFC is a critical part of your Social Security disability case.
So, how do I develop my workplace limitations and residual functional capacity?
While many lawyers use a custom form (my Colorado Social Security disability law firm uses special forms for our clients which we have fine tuned over the years) Social Security provides two general workplace limitations forms that anyone can use.
Continue reading Winning Social Security disability with RFC forms
If you are 50 years old or older, Social Security makes it easier to prove your disability case. Individuals between 18 and 49 meet a tougher standard discussed in this article.
Starting at age 50, and then again at age 55 and 60, Social Security lowers the requirements for proving disability. The rationale is that the older you are, the harder it is to work in a job that you have never done before.
- After age 50, Social Security can approve you for disability benefits even though you are able to do some type of work.
- The older you are, the more physically demanding the work can be and still allow you qualify for disability benefits.
However, this is not a free pass! Do not leave this article before you read the “gotchas” at the bottom. Continue reading Secrets to winning Social Security disability at age 50 (or above)
This one will make you mad! Social Security frequently has single decision makers (SDMs) complete forms describing what an individual can and cannot do in the workplace.
What’s a single decision maker?
- It’s not a doctor.
- It’s not a PA.
- It’s not a nurse.
Give up? A single decision maker is the title given to the Social Security technician who decides if you are disabled. That’s right! A SDM is a bureaucrat! Continue reading Playing doctor: SDMs in Social Security disability cases
I was recently asked if you need a functional capacity evaluation (FCE) in a Social Security disability case.
As I previously wrote, it is vital to get a statement from your doctor about your abilities and limitations in the workplace. This is sometimes called a medical source statement, medical opinion, or a statement of your residual functional capacity.
Normally, this medical opinion is just your doctor’s “best guess” of what you can and cannot do. I don’t want to put this down. A doctor who knows your condition, and who knows you, can make a very good guess about how the conditions affects you and how it would affect you in the workplace.
So, do you still need an FCE? Continue reading Do you need an FCE in a Social Security disability case?
The Social Security Disability Blog got me thinking about some of the Social Security hearing question gotchas I’ve heard over the years.
It is fairly common to be asked the following questions during a Social Security hearing: Continue reading Social Security hearing question gotchas!