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Medical Evidence of Your Disability

Part I: Sources

Medical evidence is the cornerstone for Social Security’s determination of your disability. A qualified Social Security Disability lawyer can explain how the benefits process works and save you time and effort.

Each person who files a disability claim is responsible for providing medical evidence showing that he or she has an impairment and how severe that impairment is. It is always best for your doctor to provide detailed records of your condition, along with an explanation of how it limits your ability to work or perform everyday tasks.

The medical evidence can also come from other “acceptable medical sources” depending on what condition has caused your impairment.

Acceptable Medical Sources

The Social Security Administration (SSA) defines “acceptable medical sources” as medical professionals including:

Evidence from Treating Sources

SSA regulations place special emphasis on evidence from treating sources because they are likely to be the medical professionals most able to provide a detailed assessment of the claimant’s impairment and may bring a unique perspective to the medical evidence. Timely and accurate reports from treating sources are essential for accelerating the claims process.

Medical Evidence From Health Facilities

Social Security will also request copies of medical evidence from hospitals, clinics or other health facilities where you have been treated. All medical reports received are considered during the disability determination process.

Other Evidence

Information from other sources may also help show the extent to which a person’s impairment affects his or her ability to function in a work setting; or in the case of a child, the ability to function compared to that of children the same age who do not have impairments. Other sources can include: public and private agencies; non?medical sources such as schools, parents and caregivers, social workers and employers; and other practitioners such as naturopaths, chiropractors and audiologists.