Monday, October 15, 2007
How does SSA view medical evidence.
A Social Security Disability file contains allot of medical evidence. So how does SSA determine what evidence should be given the most weight? The Social Security Administration is supposed to look at many factors when determining what weight they should give a particular piece of medical or opinion evidence. Notice I say supposed to because I have found SSA employees and ALJs don't always view it as they are supposed to. Generally, treating doctors are supposed to be given more weight than non-treating doctors. In other words your doctor's opinion is supposed to be given more weight than the SSA consultative doctors. Your doctors opinion must however still be consistent with the medical records in the file. Specialties are also considered by SSA. For example a diagnosis of depression by a psychiatrist is more "valuable" than a diagnosis of depression by a family doctor. What does this mean to you. You must make sure you have your treating doctors medical records and opinion of your limitations in the file. If you are seeing a specialist for your condition getting those records and opinion of your limitations from that specialist is a very important. One last note chiropractors are not given much weight so if you have a back condition an orthopedics opinion is much better. I have left out allot here but this is to give you a general idea of how SSA looks at evidence.