Accepted Medical Sources for Social Security Disability Applications

The following is a guest post courtesy of Lance Brusilow, owner of Philadelphia court reporting firm Brusilow & Associates.

Acceptable medical sources can mean the difference between an approved application for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits and a stern denial from the federal government. So how do you know if your documentation has the stamped seal of approval from a medical professional that SSD examiners will give the proper weight? Fortunately, you don’t have to. Our experienced attorneys have the answers to your burning questions in this latest post to the blog.

Licensed Medical Doctors

The court and disability examiners give the heaviest weight to the opinions of licensed medical doctors and osteopaths treating your condition. These “accepted medical sources” have the years of training necessary to diagnose and treat physical injuries as well as diseases outside of the mental health range. If your application includes only medical information from a healthcare professional with these conditions, you may not need an additional consultative exam to determine the full extent of your disabling condition.

social security benefits laywer

Licensed Psychologists and Psychiatrists

The Social Security Administration only accepts medical records from licensed psychologists for disabilities stemming from intellectual or learning disabilities. If the claim for disability benefits involves a mental impairment or disorder, including clinical depression, schizophrenia, or mania – only a licensed psychiatrist will do as a credible source of medical information. Without a diagnosis from one of these types of healthcare professionals, your application for benefits doesn’t stand a chance. If you’re unsure of the type of disorder you have, contact your SSD attorney to help you locate a medical professional in your area who can assist you.

Chiropractors and Nurse Practitioners

social security disability income lawyer

Disability examiners recognize chiropractors and nurse practitioners as “accepted medical sources” when it comes to determining eligibility for benefits, but take that characterization with a grain of salt. If you only have a chiropractor or nurse practitioner’s medical records to justify the impact of your injury on your functional capacity, the federal government may request additional examinations before granting approval. The Social Security Administration pays for the additional consultative exam, so it won’t cost you money, though the findings could lead to a denial of benefits. Your legal team should monitor the exam closely.

If a nurse practitioner or chiropractor has conducted long-term care for your disabling condition, the court or disability examiner may give more weight to their diagnosis and evaluation. There are always exceptions to the rules, and your legal team can advise you regarding the status of your medical records as you begin the application process.

Medical Records Needed for Social Security Applications

Regardless of where your medical records come from, having detailed descriptions of your diagnosis and response to various treatments is essential for your application to obtain approval and avoid costly delays. Spotty medical records lead to time-consuming examinations, which drag out the approval process and put off receiving funding you desperately need to keep your financial head above water.

Pennsylvania Disability Lawyers Offering Free Consultations

If you have questions about your Social Security Disability paperwork, and want an experienced law firm to take the headache of filling out all those forms from you, give us a call today.  We’ve processed thousands of SSD applications for clients across Pennsylvania and New Jersey.   

Related Articles

How Bankruptcy Can Protect You

Filing for bankruptcy is often thought of as a sign of failure. At best, it is seen as a last resort when faced with too many bills, collection letters, or […]

Read More »

Means Testing in Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy has many layers. Before filing, a potential debtor will have to gather their bills, bank statements, tax returns, and proof of all household income for the previous six months. […]

Read More »

How Many Types of Social Security Benefits Are Available?

“What kinds of benefits are there?” While it is necessary to be disabled to receive disability benefits, the non-medical requirements are different for each category. You may be entitled to one or […]

Read More »

Have an Attorney Review Your Case for Free

Get a Free Case Evaluation

Contact Our Attorneys To Learn How We Can Help Your Case

Name(Required)

12 Convenient Locations Across Pennsylvania and New Jersey

Philadelphia, PA

7909 Bustletown Ave, 1st Floor Philadelphia, PA 19152 (215) 607-7478 Get Directions

Quakertown, PA

328 Broad St. Quakertown, PA 18951 (215) 515-6876 Get Directions

Allentown, PA

137 N 5th St. Suite A Allentown, PA 18102 (215) 240-4082 Get Directions

Jenkintown, PA

135 Old York Road Jenkintown, PA 19046 (215) 544-3347 Get Directions

Easton, PA

101 Larry Holmes Dr. #212 Easton, PA 18042 (215) 515-7077 Get Directions

Bala Cynwyd, PA

2 Bala Plaza, Suite 300 Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004 (610) 557-3209 Get Directions

Bensalem, PA

3554 Hulmeville Rd, #102 Bensalem, PA 19020 (215) 515-6389 Get Directions

Plymouth Meeting, PA

600 W. Germantown Pike #400 Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462 (215) 515-6876 Get Directions

Cinnaminson, NJ

909 Route 130 South #202 Cinnaminson, NJ 08077 (609) 796-4344 Get Directions

Hamilton Twp., NJ

100 Horizon Center Blvd., 1st and 2nd Floors Hamilton Township, NJ 08691 (609) 236-8649 Get Directions

Marlton, NJ

10000 Lincoln Drive E One Greentree Centre, Suite 201 Marlton, NJ 08053 (856) 213-2805 Get Directions

Piscataway, NJ

200 Centennial Ave. Suite 200 Piscataway, NJ 08854 (908) 367-7256 Get Directions