BOISE, Idaho -Because as many as 60 to 70 percent of disability claims are denied at the initial level, it is certainly a good idea to use the services of an experienced Social Security Attorney. Professional advice will help to ensure that your disability claim will not only be presented in the best possible light by a legal expert who understands how to present your claim convincingly and thoroughly, but will help you to prepare the best possible evidence for your claim.
In reviewing your claim, Social Security will consider all information relevant to your medical condition. However, not all this information is given the same “weight” or importance. For example, a medical opinion from a specialist in the field of medicine relating to your malady, which is consistent with other evidence in the record as a whole, is given great weight. Also, medical opinions from sources who have actually examined you are weighted more heavily; this is especially true when these are accompanied with the supporting evidence of medical signs and laboratory findings.
Acceptable Medical Sources
The information that Social Security considers most important comes from sources which they classify as “acceptable medical sources”. Other information and reports will be considered, but these acceptable medical sources carry the most weight. The following will be entitled to great weight if consistent with and supported by your medical file:
- Records and Reports from DO’s—A report from a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) who has a valid license in the state in which he or she practices. A DO has an equal standing and equivalent rights, privileges, and responsibilities as physicians with a Doctor of Medicine degree (M.D.).
- Records and Reports from Certified or Licensed Psychologist—He or she must posses a doctorate degree in psychology and have a valid license in the state in which he or she practices. The psychologist needs to establish the existence of a mental disability.
- Records and Reports from a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) —The MD must also posses a valid license in the state in which he or she practices. It is important to note that homeopathic, chiropractic or naturopathic doctors do not qualify as acceptable medical sources (though there records and reports are considered) even though they may have been licensed by the state.
- Records and Reports from Licensed Optometrists—If the disability involves visual problems, a report from the optometrist or opthamologist is essential.
- Records and Reports from a Podiatrist—Podiatrists deal with feet, ankles and lower extremity. The reporting podiatrist must have a valid license in the state in which he or she practices.
- Records and Reports from Speech-Language Pathologists—These are only acceptable if SSA is seeking to establish the validity of speech/language problems; they also must hold a valid license in the state in which they are working.
A Social Security Attorney will help develop your case and can answer your questions regarding how to best work with your medical professionals. If you are not seeing any acceptable medical sources, they can help direct you on how to best proceed. At the hearing level, our job includes obtaining important medical documents and medical records. Call today! Our Social Security Lawyers will do everything in their power to ensure that you have best chance for success.