A residual functional capacity (RFC) form can help you with your Social Security Disability claim at both the initial application phase and the appeal hearing level. It is a good idea to have this form completed by your treating physician at the beginning of your claim for Social Security Disability or SSI. (Learn more about how your RFC can help you win your disability claim.) It also makes sense to let your doctor know about your disability claim in advance of asking him or her to complete the RFC form, so he or she will be expecting it.
Allow your doctor sufficient time to complete the form; be sure to ask early on in your case, or better yet, as soon as you decide to file. The RFC form is rather lengthy, and requires an hour or so to complete thoroughly, so don't expect your doctor to complete it on the spot.
If your doctor agrees to complete the form (some doctors charge a small fee for filling out the RFC form), but he or she does not return the document and associated medical record within a week or two, follow up politely and ensure he or she hasn't forgotten or misplaced the document.
If you are on familiar terms with a nurse or other of the doctors staff, give them a copy as well, and let them know what you are trying to accomplish. This way if the doctor gets side-tracked or loses the document, there is someone there to help get it done.
You can download a Portable Document File (PDF) version of the RFC form below.