Your doctor’s medical opinion plays an important role in your Michigan Social Security disability benefits case. The Social Security Administration must consider your treating doctor’s opinion; in fact, under certain circumstances, your doctor’s opinion must be given controlling weight.
It is your doctor’s job to provide Social Security with a “medical source statement” that includes information about the degree of your impairment and your residual functional capacity – that is, what you are capable of doing, despite the limitations caused by your impairment. If you have retained a Michigan Social Security disability attorney, your attorney will ask your treating doctor to provide a formal, written opinion. The timing of this request is important. I suggest that you ask your attorney to request a medical opinion on the same day you retain your attorney. This way, you will have a snapshot of your medical condition and your residual functional capacity early in the case. If there is a long delay between the date of the medical report and the date of your hearing, your attorney can ask your treating doctor to prepare an updated report, if your condition has changed significantly, or to prepare a short letter noting that there has been no significant change in your condition. In most cases, this approach will be quite effective. There are some situations, however, in which an early medical report may not be advised. For example:
- If your medical history ebbs and flows—that is, if it reflects acute phases of your condition followed by periods of improvement – then it is advisable to wait until your doctor has had an opportunity to observe all phases of your condition.
- Similarly, if you just began seeing a new doctor, give the doctor time to get to know you and become familiar with your condition before asking for a medical report.
- If your medical history reflects competing diagnoses or other uncertainties, it usually is best to wait to obtain the report until after those medical issues are resolved.
- Finally, depending on your impairment, you may want to wait until you have been disabled for at least 12 months before requesting a report.
Are You Likely to Qualify for Michigan Social Security Disability?
Is there a good probability of receiving Social Security disability? Answer these four questions from a Detroit disability law firm to understand your likelihood of qualifying.
Contact A Detroit Disability Lawyer
If you are not already represented by a Detroit disability lawyer, feel free to contact me if you would like to learn more about medical source reports and the role of your treating doctor in your Michigan Social Security disability case.