Go to navigation Go to content
Toll-Free: 888-761-7383
Phone: 530-899-7178
Ledgerwood Law Group

Chico Disability Attorney Explains the RFC Form & Your Doctor

Whether you’re building an initial application or appealing an unfavorable decision, the Residual Functional Capacity, or RFC form will play an important role in the SSA’s assessment of your disability case. 

Ideally, the RFC form will offer a detailed assessment of your ability to consistently perform the basic mental and physical tasks needed to hold down a job, explained in language easily understood by someone who isn’t a medical professional. The form serves as a kind of interpretation of your medical records for the Disability Examiner and Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) as they evaluate your case. 

If your treating physician hasn’t completed the form, a consulting physician at Disability Determination Services (DDS) will fill one out based on your medical records. That means a doctor who has never examined you is now responsible for explaining your limitations to others.

Many applicants assume that because the form isn’t required, they don’t need to submit one. Especially in cases where your doctor requires a small fee to complete the necessary paperwork, it can be tempting to just leave the RCF form to the DDS. Unfortunately, it’s a decision that can sometimes mean the difference between approval and denial.

Taking control of the RFC form

An RFC form completed by your regular doctor does more than offer an informed perspective on your limitations. It will also:

  • Be given more weight in California disability court than an RFC evaluation completed by DDS.
  • Give the ALJ a sense of the full scope of your disabilities directly from someone who has personally examined and treated you.
  • Allow your doctor to include personal observations and draw conclusions that will not be readily apparent on your medical records.
  • Offer a summary of your medical history that’s easier to understand. 
  • Ensure you’ve taken necessary medical tests, as supporting evidence to your claim.
  • Explain the full extent of your medical issues to the ALJ, helping them reach an informed verdict.

Do you have questions about your residual functional capacity or other key issues in a California disability benefits case? Don’t wait another day; speak with a North Valley disability attorney. Call the Ledgerwood Law Group toll-free at 888-761-7383 today.


Thomas Ledgerwood
Connect with me
Proprietor Ledgerwood Law Group