The Importance of Your Doctor's Opinion in the Social Security Disability System

April 27, 2015

One of our best weapons for obtaining social security benefits is the opinion of your doctor. Both the Courts and the Social Security Administration place great emphasis on the opinions of a claimant’s doctor concerning disabilities and symptoms. Your own doctor is generally given deference regarding his or her opinion, although a judge can disregard it if they specify good reasons. The case law in our jurisdiction and Social Security’s regulations are well settled: This Circuit has stated "in all cases there remains a presumption, albeit a rebuttable one, that the opinion of a treating physician is entitled to great deference, its noncontrolling status notwithstanding." Rogers v. Comm’r of Social Sec., 486 F.3d 234, 242 (6th Cir., 2007). If an ALJ rejects the opinion of a treating physician, he must articulate clearly "good reasons" for doing so. Wilson v. Comm’r of Soc. Sec., 378 F.3d 541, 544 (6th Cir. 2004) ; 20 C.F.R. § 404.1527(d)(2). The opinion of a non­treating physician is entitled to, "if anything, less deference than the treating physician's opinion." Jones v. Comm'r of Soc. Sec., 336 F.3d 469, 477 (6th Cir.2003).

It is sometimes difficult in our modern medical system to have a continuing relationship with the same doctor. But if you have a regular doctor, make sure they understand your limitations, and make sure you follow their recommendations. They are one of your best assets in proving disability.

Add a Comment

Your e-mail address will not be published or shared

No URLs or HTML tags, please

« Return to Blog