Medical opinion evidence – Part 3: How will my doctor’s opinion be obtained and presented to the Social Security decision-maker?

For help with your disability claim in Charlotte, call a Charlotte disability lawyer from the Bridgman Law Offices at (704)815-6055.

Now that you understand the importance of medical opinion evidence to the success of your Social Security disability claim, you may be wondering how your doctor's opinion will be obtained and in what form it will be presented to the Social Security decision-maker.

There are several ways to obtain a treating doctor's medical opinion. For example, your Charlotte disability lawyer could:

  • Take the doctor's deposition. [A deposition is similar to an interview. Your Charlotte disability lawyer will question the doctor; the doctor will answer under oath, just as if he were testifying in court; and the entire proceeding will be transcribed, word for word.]
  • Send the doctor written questions, to be answered in writing.
  • Ask the doctor to prepare a written report on specific topics.
  • Ask the doctor to complete a pre-printed medical opinion form relative to your impairment. [You can see an example of a medical opinion form, in a fibromyalgia case,here.]
  • Subpoena the doctor to testify at your hearing before the administrative law judge.

Even though live testimony may be the most compelling and effective way to ensure that the treating doctor addresses all the issues in your case, treating doctors rarely testify at Social Security disability hearings. The reason for this is simple: doctors are busy, and their time is expensive. Thus, in most cases, the doctor's opinion will be presented in written form. In any event, regardless of how the doctor's opinion is obtained or the format in which it is presented, the Social Security decision-maker must consider the opinion and, in appropriate cases, give it controlling weight.

An experienced Charlotte disability lawyer can help you gather and present the evidence in support of your disability claim, including medical opinion evidence. If you are not currently represented, and you would like to talk with us, please use the Free Case Evaluation form on this page to tell us about your situation, or call or email us directly.