Kayla Moreland , June 24, 2015
Even though your doctor may have reported to Social Security that, in his opinion, you are disabled, Social Security may not automatically adopt that opinion. Rather, they will evaluate all of the medical evidence in your claim file, including your doctor’s treatment notes, hospital records, test results, and the reports of doctors who may have examined you at the request of Social Security.
At the initial and reconsideration levels of the claim, all of this medical evidence is reviewed and evaluated by “in house” doctors, who arrive at a conclusion as to the severity of your medical conditions, and their impact on your ability to work. An adjudicator then uses this information to decide whether you qualify for benefits, under Social Security’s rules. At the hearing level, it is the Administrative Law Judge who makes this decision.
Although Social Security may not automatically adopt your doctor’s opinion as to disability, they cannot simply ignore his opinion and, if it is well supported by the overall evidence, must give it controlling weight in their decision. Therefore, when applying for disability, it is very important to be in regular treatment; to report all of your symptoms to your doctor; and to follow all of your doctor’s treatment recommendations. By doing so, there is a better chance that Social Security will adopt your doctor’s opinion as to disability.
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