The Inside Scoop on Applying for
By Kristen Lavoie
physician who wants to learn more about
disability benefits—you’ll want to read this.
A helpful tool is the residual functional capacity (RFC) evaluation process: When applying for disability, the following may serve as helpful information for both the applicant and their treating physicians, either past or present.
In order to improve an applicant’s chances of getting disability benefits from the Social Security Administration, one particularly helpful tip involves making sure your physician has the most effective, proper documentation in your medical records.
An important responsibility of both the applicant AND their medical team is to prove what potential occupational activities the patient is capable of performing and what his or her limitations are. When a claims examiner contacts the physicians listed on the patient’s disability application, those physicians must be able to provide very specific documentation about their patient’s limitations. (Note: It is most helpful for a patient to list physicians on their disability application who have regularly and most recently treated them; and for those physicians to prepare and compile specific documentation—verses a physician who saw the applicant once years ago).
A physician can help significantly to ensure that a patient acquires disability benefits by conducting a residual functional capacity (RFC) assessment. You can read more about the RFC assessment here. A patient’s RFC refers to a patient’s remaining abilities despite any limitations from his or her impairment. The RFC evaluation assesses a patient’s capacity to do work-related physical and mental tasks on a regular and continuing basis—which means eight hours a day, five days a week.
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