To get approved for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits by the Social Security Administration (SSA), you must present strong medical evidence of your illness, disease, or medical condition. In many cases, the evidence you need comes from physicians who have treated you for your disability. If the SSA finds your evidence insufficient, they may require you to attend an examination to get the information they need to decide your claim.
At Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin, our national Social Security Disability lawyers can help you collect medical evidence to support your SSD claim or appeal. We have lawyers based across the United States, and we’re here to assist you no matter where you live. Get the 24/7 legal help you deserve today—just dial (800) 477-7315 or fill out our free online form.
Acceptable Medical Sources for SSD Applications and Appeals
The SSA will only consider medical evidence from medical professionals who meet the SSA’s regulations. These sources can include:
- Licensed physicians (medical or osteopathic doctors)
- Licensed or certified psychologists and certain school personnel (only for purposes of establishing intellectual or learning disabilities)
- Licensed optometrists (only for purposes of establishing visual disorders)
- Licensed podiatrists (only for purposes of establishing impairments of the foot, or in some states, the foot and ankle)
- Qualified speech-language pathologists (only for purposes of establishing speech or language impairments)
Medical evidence from treating sources—such as the physician treating your condition—is most likely to be used when the SSA decides your claim. Treating sources are more readily accepted because they are considered to be able to present the best long-term perspective of your condition.
Types of Symptom Evidence for Disabilities
Evidence showing the symptoms of your disability can come from a variety of sources and may include information on:
- How your daily activities are affected by your disability
- Location, duration, frequency, and intensity of pain or other symptoms
- Factors triggered by, or aggravated by, your condition
- Type, dosage, effectiveness, and side effects of any medications you take
- Treatments or methods you’ve used—other than medications—to relieve pain or other symptoms
- Other limitations caused by pain or other symptoms
Compassionate Allowances Conditions
If you suffer from a medical condition found on the SSA’s list of Compassionate Allowances, you can be approved for SSD benefits with minimal medical evidence.
Social Security Consultative Exams
If your symptom evidence and information from your acceptable medical sources and treating sources is not sufficient to prove your disability, the SSA may order a consultative exam to obtain additional medical evidence.
Your treating source is the preferred source for a consultative exam, but the SSA will provide an independent source if:
- Your treating source prefers not to perform the examination
- Your treating source does not have the equipment to provide the specific data needed
- There are conflicts or inconsistencies in the file that cannot be resolved by going back to your treating source
- You prefer another physician, specialist, or medical facility and have a good reason for doing so
- Prior experience leads the SSA to believe that your treating source may not be the best option
Get Help Locating Your Disability Evidence
If you’re applying for SSD benefits or appealing an SSD denial, Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin can help. From tracking down medical records to collecting symptom evidence, our Social Security Disability lawyers have the experience it takes to build strong SSD claims and appeals. And with our No Fee Guarantee®, you won’t owe us for our services unless we get money for you. So don’t delay. Contact our legal staff for the representation you need today.