Thursday, June 27, 2013

Social Security Form DDD-3883

The Social Security Administration (the “SSA”) occasionally asks claimant’s doctors to complete a form known as DDD-3883. You should do three things to prepare for that possibility. 

 First, tell your doctor to notify you if the SSA sends a DDD-3883 (or any other information request). Second, ask your doctor to send the DDD-3883 to you or your attorney, not the SSA after it is completed. Third, discuss with your doctor the type of responses that could help or hurt your claim. The questions on the DDD-3883 are somewhat ambiguous, and you want to make sure that answers do not need to be clarified. 

I represent a 51 year old former warehouse manager with rheumatoid arthritis and cardiovascular problems. The claimant’s cardiologist and rheumatologist each completed form DDD-3883 for Social Security. A treating doctor’s opinion is supposed to be given controlling weight under the Social Security rules and regulations if it is well supported by clinical and diagnostic evidence. 

The DDD-3883 requires, among other things, that the doctor identify the clinical findings and diagnostic tests that support his or her conclusions, which the rheumatologist and cardiologist did. Moreover, both specialists concluded that the claimant lacked the ability to perform the demands of sedentary work. 

The claimant’s application for disability benefits was approved today. Interestingly, while the rheumatologist and cardiologist both completed forms for me that contained similar information to the DDD-3883, the Administrative Law Judge relied upon the latter in approving benefits. Since the form DDD-3883 is Social Security’s own form, when a doctor provides substantive responses to all of its questions that support the claim, there should be no grounds for contending it is not entitled to controlling weight.

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