Doctors and Your Social Security Disability Case

Mar 14, 2011 No Comments by

Doctors are an important part of your Social Security Disability Case. It is possible that three different sets of doctors will examine you or medical records before a decision is made.

First, and most importantly, there is your treating doctor. Your treating physician’s medical records are the evidence you need to prove that you are disabled. Regular treatment is essential to your case. While your treating physician may not have the final say in whether you are disabled or not in your social security disability case, his/her opinion is definitely helpful when it comes to making the determination. Building a good treatment relationship and complying with your doctors recommendations are always a good idea not only for your case, but also for your health.

Second, the Social Security Administration may send you to a consultative examination. These doctors usually only see you once briefly, but their opinion is used in a similar way to your treating physician. If you are scheduled for a consultative examination, you need to attend the appointment. If you have any medical records take those with you to the consultative examination.

Third, there may be a medical expert at your hearing. This doctor will not examine you; they will review your medical records and provide opinions based on those records. Here is more information from the Social Security Website:

The Role of the Health Professional

Health professionals play a vital role in the disability determination process and participate in the process in a variety of ways:

  • As treating sources or other medical sources who provide medical evidence on behalf of their patients;
  • As CE sources to perform, for a fee, examinations and/or tests that are needed;
  • As full-time or part-time medical or psychological consultants reviewing claims in a DDS, in one of SSA’s regional offices, or in SSA central office; or
  • As medical experts who testify at administrative law judge hearings or respond to written interrogatories from the administrative law judge.

via Part I – General Information.

It is important to have regular medical treatment from your doctor for your Social Security Disability Case. It is also important for your health and well being. This is your time to let your doctor know what is going on with you and any changes you have experienced since you last saw them. Treat your time with your doctor like it is precious; it really is!

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About the author

Kim obtained her undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and her Law Degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is a strong advocate for the rights of the disabled and worked in the past for the North Carolina Department of Justice. She is a member of the North Carolina Advocates for Justice and the National Organization of Social Security Claimants Representatives. Kim is admitted to practice in the Eastern and Middle Districts of the United States District Court.
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