Your doctor says you are unable to work and completed a form of Social Security telling them just that.

But they still denied your claim, how can they do that? Join me as I explain how Social Security treats your doctor’s opinion in a disability claim. 


When applying for social security disability insurance, one very important aspect of the application is a form filled out by a doctor that confirms the claimant is in fact disabled. However, sometimes Social Security still denies those claims with medical proof. Below we review how Social Security reviews doctors’ opinions in disability claims.


The first thing to know about how Social Security determines if you are disabled is that the decision isn’t your doctor’s to make. The decision of whether you are disabled is reserved for the Commissioner of Social Security. So Social Security only weighs your doctor’s opinion along with the rest of the information in the application.


Social Security first looks at whether the limitations your doctor describes are supported by objective medical evidence in your file. They then look at the credentials of your medical provider and details of the relationship. They look at where the information is coming from a medical doctor or a nurse practitioner – a medical doctor’s opinion carries more weight than a nurse practitioner. They also examine how long the provider has been treating you. The longer the relationship, the more familiar the doctor will be with your health history and limitations. Social Security will finally look at the doctor’s specialty. If the doctor specializes in the impairment he or she is providing an opinion on, Social Security will give that doctor’s opinion more weight when coming to a conclusion.


That is how Social Security reviews a doctor’s opinion on a disability case.


If you have additional questions about social security disability benefits, I want you to call me at 508-732-8989.