- The length of time the doctor has been treating you and how often this doctor saw you. The longer and more frequent that a doctor has treated you increases the weight the doctor’s opinion receives from SSA.
- The nature and extent of the treatment relationship. The more the doctor knows about your condition increases the weight of this doctor’s opinion.
- Supportability. Opinions supported by medical signs and laboratory findings, are assigned more weight by the SSA. The SSA is more likely to consider a doctor’s opinion if there is a well written explanation for the opinion.
- Consistency. The more consistent the doctor’s opinion is with the rest of the medical evidence record, the more weight the SSA will assign to the opinion.
- Specialization. The SSA will assign more weight to the opinion of a specialist provided the opinion given is within the doctor’s area of specialization.
- Other factors. The SSA will give increased weight to a doctor’s opinion, if that doctor is familiar with the SSA’s disability programs and requirements. Additional weight is given to a doctor’s opinion if that doctor has extensive knowledge of your case record.
· The best way to ensure that your claim is handled properly is to hire an attorney. Your disability attorney will stay on top of all paperwork and requests from Social Security and make sure that all your medical records have been received. For more information, visit us at www.socialsecuritylaw.com.