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My Doctor Said I'm Disabled, Why Was I Denied Disability Benefits?

Posted on in Denied Social Security Benefits

Social Security regulations provide that treating physicians' opinions are generally given more weight than other medical sources. A treating physician would typically have spent more time with you and gotten to know your condition much better than any other medical professional. However, there are a number of circumstances where a treating physician's opinion will not be given more weight in a Social Security disability claim, whether for SSDI or SSI benefits. The following are several factors Social Security will evaluate when reviewing a treating doctor's opinion:

1) How often have you been treated by your doctor?

Have you seen your doctor only three times in two years or do you see him or her every month?

2) Is your doctor a specialist treating you for a particular condition?

A specialist focuses his or her practice to a particular area of practice such as a cardiologist with the heart or a dermatologist with skin disorders. If you are seeing a specialist for a particular condition that professional's opinion will typically be given more weight.

3) Did your doctor provide supporting evidence with his or her opinion?

A doctor will be more convincing if he or she has provided laboratory findings and/or medical signs with his or her opinion.

4) Does the medical records support the doctor's opinion?

For example, does the doctor suggest that you are unable to lift more than five pounds, but then the rest of the record shows that you lift your child throughout the day? It is important that a doctor's opinion is supported by the entirety of the record.

5) Did your doctor give you specific limitations or merely state that you are


Medical limitations are reserved to the opinion of the medical professional, whereas blanket statements of disability are reserved for the Social Security Administration. It is up to the government to determine whether you are disabled.


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