RGG Law MSS Forms

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disability forms

In almost every disability case, RGG Law provides its clients with standardized forms created by the firm. Clients should present this form to their doctor when seeking an opinion regarding their functional limitations. Doctors can rate their patient’s ability to perform physically or mentally in different work-related categories. Such RGG Law provided forms, referred to as Medical Source Statements (MSS forms), are valuable evidence in any disability claim.

What Are MSS Forms?

The basic RGG Law Medical Source Statement-Physical (MSS-P) form asks the doctor to estimate their patient’s ability to lift, carry, sit, stand, walk, push, pull, bend, stoop, kneel, crouch, crawl, reach, handle, finger, and feel. The doctor is also asked to verify any environmental limitations, such as a need to avoid certain hazards or weather. The basic RGG Law Medical Source Statement-Mental (MSS-M) form asks the doctor to identify any restrictions regarding understanding and remembering instructions, interacting appropriately with other people, making simple work-related decision, adapting to change in an ordinary work setting, and maintaining concentration, persistence, and pace without excessive breaks or interruptions from psychological symptoms. Copies of these forms can be viewed or printed in the resources section of this website.

According to the regulations of the Social Security Administration, the well-supported opinion of a treating physician, treating psychiatrist, or treating psychologist are usually granted the greatest evidentiary weight. Specialists are often accorded even greater weight in areas related to their specialty. See 20 C.F.R. 404.1527, Social Security Ruling 96-2p, and Social Security Ruling 96-5p.

Can Medical Professionals Decline to Fill Out MSS Forms?

Unfortunately, many treating providers decline to complete such disability paperwork. Many reasons are provided, including concerns that the doctor might be called to testify or face some legal liability for providing their opinion. These are not valid concerns in a Social Security disability case, but some medical providers are still hesitant due to such misconceptions.

Some doctors work for clinics that have policies that prohibit them from completing such forms. This may be because the clinic does not feel the doctor’s time should be spent on such forms, even though they are short check-box forms that can be completed in less than 15 minutes by a provider who knows their patient well.

Some doctors actually tell patients they are not qualified and refer them to physical therapists for functional capacity testing. Such testing can be very expensive and, ironically, is not usually given much weight as a physical therapist is not considered an “acceptable medical source” under the agency’s regulations. The greatest weight is usually reserved for the treating physician or treating specialist who bases their opinion upon their overall knowledge and understanding of a client’s medical history and their own professional medical judgment.

In the end, all one can do is ask their own medical providers to complete an RGG Law MSS form. If they refuse, there is no way to force the issue or compel an opinion. It is simply a favor medical professionals can do for their patients, and it can make a very big difference in a patient’s disability claim.

Does RGG Law Need MSS Forms to Win Your Case?

MSS forms are not essential for an RGG Law disability attorney to win a disability claim. Many cases are won without such opinions. Without such evidence, a disability judge has to determine what functional limitations may apply based on the raw medical records and testimony received. Completed MSS forms also do not guarantee a finding by the agency that a person is disabled. On the other hand, it is strong evidence that is usually persuasive and always good to have.