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What kinds of medical evidence will the SSA consider?

One of the most fundamental concepts involved in many legal cases is the presentation of evidence. Evidence can contribute to a successful legal claim for Georgia residents, as it substantiates the claim and proves that the person is entitled to what he or she requests.

While the presentation of evidence is often thought of in relation to the courtroom, it also comes into play when a person is filing a legal claim for Social Security disability benefits. Last week, this blog discussed how individuals can drastically improve their chances of success when applying for SSDI benefits for illness by gathering the necessary medical records to prove the claim. Indeed, medical evidence is the cornerstone of a disability determination, according to the Social Security Administration itself.

There are a number of acceptable medical sources under the federal regulations that will be considered by the Social Security Administration. For example, licensed physicians, licensed or certified psychologists, licensed optometrists, licensed podiatrists and qualified speech-language pathologists are all considered acceptable medical sources. Of course, the use of these varying professionals will depend on the particular type of impairment involved in the claim.

Many disability claims are also decided in connection with treating sources. These professionals have a detailed picture of the person's impairments, given their involvement in the matter, and that unique perspective is difficult to duplicate through other means. Accordingly, special emphasis is often placed on treating sources.

As discussed last week, medical records from health facilities are also used to determine a person's disability, including evidence from hospitals, clinics or other facilities where the person was treated. The medical professionals may also be asked to submit a report about the impairment to the agency, including the person's medical history, clinical and laboratory findings, diagnosis, treatment and statements as to whether the person can still perform activities in spite of the impairment. Other evidence may also be considered to the extent it demonstrates the effect the person's impairment has on his or her ability to perform work.

Source: Social Security Administration, "Disability evaluation under Social Security," accessed on Feb. 13, 2016

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