Social Security for Psychiatric: MRFC & PRTF Forms

Social Security for Psychiatric & Mental Conditions:
Understanding MRFC and PRTF Forms

When filing for Social Security Disability – especially if you do not have an experienced Social Security Disability lawyer yet – it can be hard to understand all of the lingo and abbreviations used by the Social Security Administration! In this article our experienced Long Beach SSD lawyers explain two of the most common Social Security forms: the PRTF and the MRFC.

When your Social Security Disability claim is based on a mental illness or psychological condition (including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, PTSD, anxiety, depression, mental retardation or autism), the Social Security Administration (SSA) will prepare certain documents as part of your evaluation process.

Social Security Disability (SSD) MRFC Form

As one of the first steps in getting your case evaluated, the SSA has one of their doctors complete something called a “mental residual functional capacity assessment” form (MRFC). Your MRFC will rely on the application, medical documentation, records and other evidence that you have supplied. It is basically an assessment of how your ability to perform a variety of mental work-related activities has been impacted by your illness.

Basically, the Social Security Administration uses this form so that every claim is “assessed” uniformly – using the same criteria and considerations. This is an attempt to take any bias out of the evaluations and make sure the examiner compares “apples to apples.”

Here are some of the things the MRFC will assess:Long Beach SSD Lawyers

1. how well the claimant can understand and remember directions
2. the claimant’s ability to concentrate and finish jobs on time
3. how well the claimant can get along with co-workers, supervisors, customers, etc.
4. how well the claimant can handle changes or stresses in his or her workplace

MRFCs are one of the most important parts of a mental illness claim because they are the “first step” in determining the extent of the impact your mental or psychological condition has on your ability to work.

Social Security Disability (SSD) PRTF Form

Once your mental residual functional capacity assessment (MRFC) is completed, the SSA will then have a different doctor use the MRFC to prepare another special document called a “Psychiatric Review Technique Form” (PRTF) as part of your claim evaluation process.

A doctor who works for the SSA will use the PRTF form to indicate whether you meet the basic or “minimum” requirements disability are met. If they are met, the doctor will then indicate whether or not your mental condition can be approved “automatically” under any of the allowable disability listings – or whether more investigation is necessary.

The PRTF is divided into the following sections:Long Beach SSD Lawyers

1. Medical Summary (Disposition & Categories)
2. Documentation of Factors that Evidence the Disorder
3. Rating of Functional Limitations
4. Consultant Notes

Medical Disposition OptionsLong Beach SSD Lawyers

There are eight options for the SSAs doctor to choose from in the Medical Disposition section of the PRTF:
1. No Medically Determinable Impairment (Social Security Denied)
2. Impairment(s) Not Severe (Social Security Denied)
This means you have a medical condition but it isn’t deemed severe enough to interfere with your ability to work.
3. Impairment(s) Severe But Not Expected to Last 12 Months (Social Security Denied)
4. Meets Listing (Social Security Automatically Approved)
5. Equals Listing (Social Security Automatically Approved)
6. RFC Assessment Necessary (MRFC Required Before Determination)
7. Coexisting Non-mental Impairment(s) Requiring Referral to Another Medical Specialty (More Examination Required)
This means that your claim needs to be reviewed by a doctor who has experience with that particular physical condition.
8. Insufficient Evidence (More Documentation Required)
This means your file doesn’t have enough medical information in it about your condition for the doctor to complete the PRTF.

Categories of Medical DispositionLong Beach SSD Lawyers

If the reviewing doctor concludes that your medical condition “meets listing” or “equals listing” the doctor will then use this section to indicate which listing is met. Here are the choices of listings given for mental, psychiatric or pyschological conditions:
1. Organic Mental Disorders
2. Schizophrenic, Paranoid and Other Psychotic Disorders
3. Affective Disorders
4. Mental Retardation
5. Anxiety-Related Disorders
6. Somatoform Disorders
7. Personality Disorders
8. Substance Addiction Disorders
9. Autism and Other Pervasive Developmental Disorders

Documentation of Factors that Evidence the DisorderLong Beach SSD Lawyers

In this section of the PRFT, the doctor preparing the PRFT will indicate your documented symptoms that demonstrate that you have a particular mental condition. Each of the mental conditions listed above has a specific set of symptoms that are required to be documented.

Rating of Functional LimitationsLong Beach SSD Lawyers

In this section of the PRFT, the doctor will indicate the “functional limitations” (things you can’t do in daily life) because of your mental condition. This will will assess:

1. Restrictions of Activities of Daily Living (i.e., shopping, driving, housecleaning)
2. Difficulties in Maintaining Social Function (i.e., interacting with peers, friends and family)
3. Difficulties in Maintaining Concentration, Persistence, and Pace (i.e., the ability to get work done on time), and
4. Episodes of Decompensation of an Extended Duration (i.e., times when your symptoms get so bad you are disabled by them).

Consultant’s NotesLong Beach SSD Lawyers

The PRTF also contains a blank area where the consulting doctor can write any additional information he or she thinks is necessary.

You or your Social Security Disability lawyer can request a copy of the PRTF to review as well. Our experienced lawyers recommend that you and your lawyer read and review your PRTF carefully to see that it accurately reflects the symptoms and limitations of your mental condition. If you feel that your PRTF does not accurately reflect your mental or psychological condition, an experienced Social Security Disability lawyer can explain your options for getting the inaccurate information revised or corrected.

Experienced Long Beach Social Security Lawyers

If you are mentally ill or cognitively or psychologically disabled and are considering filing a Social Security Disability Claim, our experienced Long Beach SSD lawyers can help make the process easier and faster for you. Call us today for a free, no-obligation consultation with an experienced Orange County Social Security Disability lawyer.

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