Many of my Detroit Social Security disability clients find relief from disabling back pain through regular chiropractic adjustments. These clients generally are surprised to learn that chiropractors do not appear on the Social Security regulations’ list of “acceptable medical sources.” Instead, chiropractors appear on a list of “other” medical sources that the Social Security Administration may consider in evaluating the “severity of your impairment(s) and how it affects your ability to work.”
The list of “other” medical sources includes nurse-practitioners, physicians’ assistants, naturopaths, audiologists and therapists, as well as chiropractors. In practice, the administrative law judge presiding over your Detroit Social Security disability hearing may regard chiropractors as the least reliable source on this list. Many administrative law judges will give less weight to your chiropractor’s records than to records from the other non-medical sources; most will give little credence to your chiropractor’s opinion that your back pain is caused by a spinal misalignment.
The Social Security Administration’s low regard for chiropractic evidence means that you will need an opinion concerning your back problem from an “acceptable” medical source – a licensed medical or osteopathic doctor – in order to prevail at your Michigan disability benefits hearing. It does not mean that you should stop seeing your chiropractor or that your attorney should ignore your chiropractor’s records and opinion. If nothing else, chiropractic evidence demonstrates that you were in enough pain – that your impairment was severe enough – to seek frequent and regular treatment.
If you are not presently represented by an attorney, and you would like to talk with a Detroit disability lawyer about your back injury claim or about gathering medical evidence in anticipation of your disability hearing, please complete the claim evaluation form to your right or contact me by phone or email.