Social Security Disability Forms For Doctors To Fill Out in 2024

The Social Security disability process can frustrate most applicants. The process often takes months and the Social Security Administration (SSA) denies most initial claims. 

To avoid the appeals process, you must submit persuasive evidence and medical records for Social Security disability benefits. More specifically, you need certain forms filled out by your doctor for Social Security disability. These include SSA-827, physical RFC, mental RFC, your test results, and a recommendation letter. 

The SSA relies on the medical advice given by a team of doctors who review your claim. Certain forms can determine whether you receive a denied claim letter or an approval letter for Social Security disability benefits. These forms include test results and medical and timekeeping records. 

This guide will outline the forms you'll need to complete to apply for disability benefits from the SSA. This guide will also focus on the Social Security disability forms for doctors to fill out as well. 

Social Security Disability Forms For Doctors To Fill Out 

You will need to submit forms and evidence for your condition based on its Blue Book listing and RFC requirements. The Social Security disability benefits application process has different parts, and completing each part requires different forms. Some forms you will need help from your doctor to complete. 

Before we dive into each form, here's a list of some of the most common forms a doctor fills out: 

  • Form SSA-827, Authorization to Disclose Information to the Social Security Administration (SSA) 
  • Physical RFC 
  • Mental RFC 
  • All Test Results 
  • Letter of Recommendation 

Social Security Document One: Medical Release Form SSA-827 

Submitting medical records for disability benefits requires putting the horse before the cart. This means that you must grant the SSA permission to access your medical records before filing your claim. In addition to providing this access (via SSA-827), you must fill out several other Social Security disability forms.

Before involving your doctor in the claim process, you need to ask the SSA for permission to contact them.

One of the Social Security disability forms to complete for your application is SSA-827. Claimants complete Form SSA-827, permitting the SSA to communicate with their doctor regarding their disabling condition and Social Security disability application. The form also allows the SSA to access important medical documents for up to 12 months after you signed it. 

You can choose not to submit Form SSA-827. However, if you decide not to submit it, the SSA may deny your claim for Social Security disability benefits.

The first section of the form lists the medical reports the SSA can access during the review process. For most claims, the SSA has access to most types of medical documents.

The primary exception is any psychotherapy notes taken during counseling for mental and emotional distress issues.

The SSA can see medical records for 12 months from the date of signing through Form SSA-827. If your claim remains open for over 1 year, the SSA will ask you to sign another release form. 

Social Security Document Two: Physical RFC 

The Social Security disability claim process begins when you send all your organized paperwork to the SSA for review.

A group of doctors from the SSA reviews your request. They determine whether it meets the medical criteria for considering it a disability. The basis of this determination is the Blue Book.

The Blue Book contains a list of disabilities, as well as the severity of symptoms that qualify claimants for financial assistance.

The SSA denies nearly 2/3 of all initial disability benefits applications. This is a result of several different reasons. However, insufficient medical evidence is one of the most common reasons for denying initial claims. If the SSA denies your claim because there isn't enough medical evidence, your next step is to undergo an RFC assessment.

If the SSA denies your claim because of insufficient medical evidence. your next move is to undergo an RFC assessment.

RFC stands for Residual Functional Capacity. An RFC describes the maximum amount of work that you can complete while dealing with a debilitating illness or injury.

Doctors must complete an RFC assessment. RFCs are one of the most important Social Security forms for doctors to fill out. Typically, an SSA physician oversees RFC assessments at a local SSA office. However, you can ask your doctor to conduct an RFC assessment as well.

You may have to ask your chosen doctor to complete a Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) assessment. The doctor who does the assessment for you should give the results to the SSA.

Having an RFC assessment done by your own doctor is usually better than one from the SSA for a couple of reasons. First, the doctor from the SSA might have a biased opinion about your condition.

Second, the SSA generally wants to limit the number of approved Social Security disability claims for financial reasons. Third, your physician is also the healthcare provider who is most familiar with your medical condition.

The physical RFC form includes a section where you describe your physical limitations. For instance, let's say you suffer from a condition that causes you to experience chronic fatigue. If your job requires constant standing and movement, and you can no longer perform these tasks due to your condition, your doctor would use the physical RFC to explain how the ongoing fatigue resulting from your condition is a physical limitation that impairs your job performance.

Your doctor would explain how your ongoing tiredness makes it hard for you to stand for extended periods. Additionally, they would indicate how long you can (and should) remain standing at work each day.

Your doctor would write all this information in the section of the physical RFC form designated for describing physical limitations. More specifically, your doctor could describe how long you should remain standing at work each day in that section. 

Social Security Document Three: Mental RFC 

Not all illnesses are anatomical or cause physical pain. Some are neurological, causing mental pain. The SSA recognizes disability claims for mental illnesses as well. These claims are for individuals who find it difficult or impossible to maintain a stable job (i.e., gainful activity).

The SSA uses the same process for analyzing mental illnesses as it does for examining the physical symptoms of an illness.

To qualify for mental illness disability benefits, you must meet the listing criteria in the Blue Book. If you don't meet the criteria, the SSA can make you take a mental Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) assessment. This is because the SSA has the legal power to do so.

A mental RFC asks questions that pertain to your ability to perform job functions while suffering from a mental disorder. The key is for you to demonstrate what you can and cannot do while dealing with a mental illness.

For example, let’s say you have a mental health disorder that makes it hard to focus. If you have a job that requires long periods of concentration, your condition might prevent you from doing your job effectively.

The Role Your Doctor Plays in Your Application for Social Security Disability Benefits

Social Security Document Four: All Test Results 

We have come to the most important series of medical records for Social Security: The results of your diagnostic tests. This is because the results of diagnostic tests can confirm a disease or injury that may qualify for disability. 

Diagnostic tests such as EKGs, X-rays, and CT scans can prove that you suffer from illness or injury-related symptoms.

Doctors at the SSA check your medical records and compare them to the criteria in the SSA Blue Book.

Your physician can send your medical records to the SSA electronically or through the United States Postal Service (USPS). The results of diagnostic tests confirm the development of a disease or the suffering of an injury.

Medical records give your Social Security disability claim more credibility. This is why diagnostic tests are important for a claim.

However, you should also include the results of specialized diagnostic tests. Healthcare providers with expertise in specific conditions (i.e. "specialists") typically conduct specialized diagnostic tests.

If a specialist diagnoses your condition using specialized tests, include the results in your disability application. Such results can make your disability claim stronger to the SSA. The most effective way to get an appointment with a specialist is for your physician to schedule the appointment for you.

Test Results for a Mental Health Condition

If you have a mental health condition that impacts your ability to work, you can provide test results to the SSA. Some tests for mental health disability benefits (e.g. cognitive tests) are different from tests for physical conditions.

A mental health doctor (i.e., therapist, psychologist, psychiatrist, etc.) can conduct cognitive tests to show if you have a mental disorder. The results of such tests can assist you in your application for disability benefits.

It's important to note that the SSA has strict rules for approving claims with mental disorders. Therefore, it is important to provide the most convincing mental diagnostic results.

Remember: Medical records, like test results, are crucial for SSA approval by of Social Security disability benefits. This is because medical evidence represents the most influential type of evidence in the disability application process. Having enough medical evidence can indicate approval of your disability claim

Social Security Document Five: Letter of Recommendation 

Of all the Social Security forms for doctors to fill out, the letter of recommendation represents the most personal. A compelling letter of recommendation from your doctor can help you get what you want from the SSA. It is similar to a recommendation letter for college or job applications.

A letter of recommendation from your doctor can help you get disability benefits from the SSA. This is similar to how a recommendation letter for college or job applications can have positive effects.

Tell your doctor about your worries pertaining to your medical condition and do everything they say for your treatment and recovery.

One of the most important sections of a letter of recommendation is the section that describes your medical prognosis. A medical prognosis can help the SSA approve your claim and determine how long your illness or injury will last. It assists in estimating the duration of the impact of a qualifying condition on you.

A medical prognosis can also tell the SSA how long it will take for you to get better. This can mean more money (i.e., a higher payout) to cover future healthcare expenses.

Here is what your physician should include in your letter of recommendation: 

  • Your medical condition 
  • A detailed description of the illness and disease 
  • Medical evidence that describes your symptoms 
  • Your physician’s explanation as to why the medical evidence supports your claim 
  • An explanation of your limitations 
  • A prognosis for future medical treatment and rehabilitation 

Starting the Process of Retrieving Social Security Forms for Doctors to Fill Out 

The Social Security disability claim process includes a few deadlines that you need to meet. You need to file all the medical records and forms that we have discussed with the SSA in a timely manner.

One missed deadline can force you to start over and submit a new disability claim. As such, you need to ensure you’re taking the initiative in working with your doctor to provide strong medical evidence.

Start the process by informing your physicians that you plan to submit a Social Security disability claim. You can accomplish this in person or by sending an email. When you do this, make sure you tell your doctor exactly how they can help your claim.

The information that doctors provide can have a lot of sway in determining the outcome of disability benefit claims. In other words, doctors can be the determinant (i.e., the deciding factor) in your claim's approval or denial. If the SSA denies your claim, you will need to go through the appeals process. This will cause a delay in receiving disability benefits.

Letting your doctor know your plans and desires helps them organize their medical records and prepare for future diagnostic tests. And, doing this early can help them prepare even more. Once again, this is why it’s critically important to be proactive throughout the disability application process.

If you need help with a claim for Social Security disability benefits, consider working with a disability attorney or disability advocate. A lawyer can assist with deadlines and evidence,  to tell you how much in disability you can get and recommend a doctor who knows how to fill out Social Security forms.

Considering applying for Social Security disability benefits but not sure how much you’ll earn per month? Use our Social Security Benefits Calculator to determine how much money you can get from the SSA before applying for disability.

Determine If You Qualify For Disability In Minutes 

How to Get a Doctor to Fill Out Disability Forms 

Getting a doctor to fill out disability forms can be tricky. Here are some tips.

  • ask all of your treating physicians to fill out these forms instead of just asking one;
  • ask for a referral to a doctor who may be able to help;
  • schedule an appointment with your doctor so they can set a time to fill them out;
  • speak with a disability lawyer to see if they have any suggestions you haven't tried yet. 

Social Security Disability Forms for Appealing a Denial 

If the SSA denied your claim, you must complete additional forms and provide supporting documents to appeal. To make things easier for you, we've provided both the necessary forms and an explanation of the purpose of each below. 

  • Form HA-4486, Claimant’s Statement When Request for Hearing is Filed and the Issue Is Disability         
    Form HA-4486 is a document used in the Social Security disability benefit appeals process. This form updates the SSA on your medical and work situation since your initial application and denial of disability benefits.         
    You should provide details on the following information in Form HA-4486:

    • Has your health improved or declined?
    • Are your daily activities different? If so, how?
    • What was the latest medical treatment you have received?

    When an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) has scheduled your case's hearing, you should fill out this form.

  • Form HA-4631, Claimant’s Recent Medical Treatment         
    Use this form to report any medical treatment you've received since the last time you provided medical information to the SSA. When you request a hearing before an ALJ, it's essential to provide up-to-date medical information to support your case. Form HA-4631 helps ensure that the ALJ has the most recent medical details to make an informed decision.         
    You need to complete Form HA-4631 when requesting a hearing before an ALJ. Once you complete the form, you should mail it to the hearing office where your claim is located. The letter from the SSA confirming your hearing request has the hearing office's address and phone number.
  • Form HA-4632, Claimant’s Medications         
    This is the form used to list the medications you are taking for the medical condition that prevents you from working. As such, you should provide detailed information about all the medications you are currently taking. This includes both prescription and non-prescription medications.         
    Form HA-4632 is important for the SSA to understand your medical treatment and medications for your condition. Form SSA-4632 will ask about your medications: 

    • names,
    • dosages,
    • reasons for taking them,
    • dates of prescription, and
    • the names of their prescribing doctors. 

    Form SSA-4632 helps the SSA understand how your medical condition affects your ability to work. To increase your chances of approval, it's crucial to provide as much detail as possible and be honest.

  • Form HA-4633, Claimant’s Work Background         
    This form requires you to provide information about your work history, including job duties and skills related to your previous employment. Completing Form HA-4633 is essential for the ALJ to assess eligibility for disability benefits. This is because it shows your work abilities and if your condition stops you from participating in substantial gainful activity (SGA). By documenting your work background, you help the ALJ evaluate your eligibility for disability benefits.
  • Form SSA-3368, Disability Report—Adult        
    The SSA uses this form to gather essential information from people applying for disability benefits.        

    Determining disability is important. As are disability decisions. This form helps the SSA decide if someone qualifies for benefits. The SSA bases this determination on the applicant's health and other factors.        

    Further Reading: Completing the Disability Report Adult Form SSA-3368
  • Form SSA-3369-BK, Work History Report      
    The "Work History Report" is another name for Form SSA-3369. The Work History Report is one of the first forms you will fill out when submitting your disability application. It's a 10-page form that provides the SSA's Disability Determination Services (DDS) with a comprehensive look into your past jobs and work history.      

    More specifically, SSA-3369 asks various different questions pertaining to the work activities performed in your previous six jobs. You should share details about the tasks and work you have done in previous jobs when asked to do so. SSA-3369 will also ask you to detail what—if any—transferable skills you might have for other jobs.
  • Form SSA-827, Authorization to Disclose Information to the Social Security Administration (SSA)      
    This form gives the SSA permission to speak with your physician. This form also allows the SSA to access important medical documents from medical institutions.      

    Form SSA-827 is a form filled out by you, the disability claimant. If you do not submit this form, the SSA may deny your claim for Social Security disability benefits.      

    Form SSA-827 allows the SSA to access your medical records for up to 12 months after you sign it. So, if your disability benefits claim lasts longer than 12 months, the SSA may ask you to sign another release form. This new form will re-grant them access to your medical documents.
  • Form SSA-3441, Disability Report—Appeal       
    You use this form to appeal a denial because of medical reasons. When the SSA makes a decision on your claim, they will send a letter to you that explains their decision. If you disagree with the SSA's decision, you have the option to appeal. You can ask them to review your case again by completing this form.      

    Form SSA-3441 asks for comprehensive information related to your medical history. This is to help the SSA understand the severity of your disability. It also helps them determine if there have been any changes to your condition that could impact their decision. More specifically, Form SSA-3441 serves to gather more detailed information about your:

    • medical condition,   
    • healthcare providers,   
    • medications,   
    • treatment, and   
    • any changes in your condition since your initial application.   

    If the SSA denied you SSI or SSDI because of medical reasons, you also can request an appeal online.

  • Form SSA-561, Request for Reconsideration    
    This form is a formal request for reconsideration. This is the form you use to formally begin your appeal of a Social Security Disability denial. In other words, you can use this form to ask the SSA to review a decision they made about your SSDI or SSI claim. The decision may relate to either medical or non-medical reasons.  

    Form SSA-561 asks for basic information about you, the disability claimant. More specifically, this form will ask you for:

    • your name,
    • Social Security number (SSN),
    • contact information details, and
    • the decision you're appealing.

    Form SSA-561 also allows you to explain why you disagree with the SSA's decision and add any extra comments or details.

Important Things To Consider 

It is important to note that Form SSA-561 is different from Form SSA-3441. Form SSA-561 is a general appeal request form for any type of SSA decision, whether it's medical or non-medical. You use Form SSA-3441 to appeal when the SSA denies your claim for medical reasons. This is because Form SSA-3441 helps gather medical details to support your appeal.

So, if you choose to appeal the SSA's denial, you will fill out Form SSA-561, Form SSA-3441, and Form SSA-827.

You can find these forms online through the SSA's website. 

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Applying for disability can be confusing and disheartening. This is why working with a disability lawyer is often in disability applicants' best interest. To connect with a disability lawyer who can assist you today, fill out the Free Case Evaluation on this page. There are no charges for this service. 

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