Welcome! This site is written for Social Security disability claimants, for their legal representatives, and for the network of people involved in the Social Security disability claim process. I hope you find it helpful.
Free Claim Review

Every now and then I see a New Hampshire disability claim where the only physical RFC in the record is from a single decisionmaker. That means the RFC assessment from DDS was not completed by a doctor. At the hearing level, a single decisionmaker RFC should be placed with the jurisdictional documents in the "A" exhibits in the disability claim file, rather than with the medical evidence in the "F" exhibits. A single decisionmaker RFC must be given no evidentiary weight by the judge at the hearing level. 

This topic was the subject of a memorandum from Chief Administrative Law Judge Frank Cristaudo, dated May 19, 2010. The Memorandum was reprinted in the June 2010 Social Security Forum, a newsletter for NOSSCR members (Download ALJ Cristaudo Memo).

Typically, the DDS RFC can be a problematic piece of evidence at the hearing level. After all, the claim was denied initially based upon that RFC, and the judge may rely on it to support an unfavorable decision at the hearing level. But with a single decisionmaker RFC, the judge does not have that option. And since New Hampshire is a "prototype" state without Reconsideration, that single decisionmaker RFC is probably the only physical RFC in the file. So to have it off limits is quite beneficial for the claimant.

Be sure to check whether or not the DDS RFC is from a single decisionmaker. You do that by checking the signature on the RFC. If it is, alert the judge in your hearing brief.