As a Detroit disability lawyer, I help my clients present a complete medical record to the Social Security decision-maker. Medical opinion evidence often plays a crucial role in this effort. The Social Security rules and regulations provide that your treating doctor’s opinion is the most important medical opinion evidence in your case. Moreover, the Social Security decision-maker must give your doctor’s opinion “controlling weight” – that is, must adopt your doctor’s opinion as its own – if the following criteria are met:
- The opinion comes from an “aceptable medical source.” Social Security recognizes the following medical professionals as “acceptable medical sources”: physicians (medical or osteopathic doctors); psychologists; podiatrists; optometrists; and qualified speech-language pathologists.
- The opinion comes from a treating source. The opinion of your treating doctor may be given controlling weight; the opinion of a doctor you saw just once or twice, for the purpose of obtaining a report to support your Social Security disability claim, will not.
- The opinion is well supported by medically acceptable diagnostic techniques.
If you present medical opinion evidence that meets these criteria, then that opinion evidence will be given controlling weight. If you present medical opinion evidence that does not meet these criteria, Social Security will take the doctor’s opinion into account, but will give it less weight