How important is your doctor’s opinion when you apply for Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits or SSI? It is very important.
A treating source is usually in the best position to give an opinion regarding your limitations, such as your ability to lift, carry, sit, stand, walk, pay attention, concentrate, use your hands, climb, squat, stoop, crawl, etc. Social Security does not care if your doctor thinks you are “disabled”, they only care about the limitations placed on you by your doctor.
Social Security drafted regulations that state the weight to be given to a treating source’s opinion. It is called the “treating source rule”. Usually, Social Security will adopt your doctor’s opinion if the medical records support the opinion. Social Security will give little weight to the opinion if the medical records do not support it.
For example, Social Security will likely not pay much attention to your doctor’s opinion if your doctor opines that you could only lift and carry five pounds but your medical records rarely mention any problems that would equate to such limitations. There has to be documentation to support the opinion.
A treating source opinion that is supported by the medical evidence often is the difference between a case be awarded or being denied.
Feel free to contact me if you have a disability claim pending and have questions about your claim.