Social Security has some very particular ideas about what kind of doctor’s records they will use to decide if you have a medical impairment. You can learn more about this here: How To Tell If You Are Seeing Mr. Right
What Do I Do If My Doctor is Not an Acceptable Medical Source?
If your doctor is not an Acceptable Medical Source, don’t panic. You still have some options:
💜 You can find a new doctor. How to Find a Doctor to Help With Disability Documentation
💜 You can check if your doctor is part of a team. For example, a nurse practitioner might have an MD who reviews and oversees the treatment. Check your records. Any records that include the “written, typed, or signed name and credentials” of an Acceptable Medical Source are considered Acceptable Medical Source evidence.
💜 You can have more than one doctor. However, it is very helpful if you have strong medical evidence from at least one doctor who is an Acceptable Medical Source.
💜 You can stay with your current doctor and see if it’s possible for their records and reports to be co-signed by a doctor who is an Acceptable Medical Source: How to Get a Co-Sign
💜 You can go forward without any Acceptable Medical Source doctors. When you apply or get reviewed, Social Security may send you to an appointment with the Social Security doctor. If this doctor finds your condition is severe and disabling, this can help your case. However, if this doctor finds your condition or limitations are not severe, this could cause difficulties, particularly if your own doctor is not an Acceptable Medical Source.
What if I have more than one doctor?
If you have more than one doctor, you can have one who is an Acceptable Medical Source and one who is not. However, if their notes and records do not agree about how severe your limitations are, Social Security may give more consideration to the Acceptable Medical Source and the other doctor may be ignored.
What do I do if I have a form or report that is not signed by the right kind of doctor?
If you already have a report or form that is not signed by an acceptable medical source, you may find this page helpful: How to Get a Co-Sign
Will I have to use the old rules forever?
If you applied before March 27, 2017, there is a loophole that may let you change to the new rules at some point: Acceptable Medical Source Rules for Continuing Disability Reviews
How Important is it to have the Right Kind of Doctor?
Here’s three stories that may help you decide for yourself:
🌻 Daisy’s lawyer waited until two weeks before her hearing to tell her she had the wrong kind of doctor! At the last minute, Daisy decided to travel all the way to another state to make sure she had a letter from the right kind of doctor. She won her case.
🌻 Patty’s lawyer never told her she had the wrong kind of doctor. Because of this, the judge ignored many of her medical records and lab reports. She lost her case.
🌻 Belladonna took some super extra special steps to make sure her medical report was signed by the right kind of doctor. She won her case.
What Do You Think?
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