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Requirements for Your Doctor’s Opinion to Be Controlling

  • Published: January 31, 2012

If three requirements are met, the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) must give your treating doctor’s opinion controlling weight,which means he will adopt your doctor’s opinion regarding the extent of your disability.

The three requirements are:

  1. The doctor must be an acceptable medical source,
  2. The doctor must be a treating source, and
  3. The doctor’s opinion must be well supported.

Acceptable medical source. Not all health care providers are acceptable medical sources. According to the SSA, the doctor providing the opinion must be a physician (M.D.or D.O.), psychologist, optometrist, a speech language pathogist, or a podiatrist. The opinion of any other type of provider, such as a chiropractor or nurse practitioner, will not be given controlling weight by the SSA, but may be considered along with other available medical evidence in your file.

Treating source. Next, the doctor must be a treating source, which means that the doctor must be caring for you.  If you go to see the doctor for an evaluation just to get a medical opinion for Social Security, the doctor will not be considered a treating source.

Well-supported opinion. The treating doctor must use standard, medically recognized techniques to assess your condition and formulate his or her opinion. In addition, the doctor’s opinion must not be inconsistent with other substantial evidence in your medical record.

A medical opinion from your treating doctor that has controlling weight is highly desirable evidence that often leads to a favorable result.

If you are applying for Social Security disability benefits in the state of Florida, call (352) 304-5300 to get in touch with an experienced Ocala Social Security attorney at the CJ Henry Law Firm.  We can assist with all aspects of your case, including obtaining an opinion from your treating doctor.

Claudeth Henry

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