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If you have had any discussions with a Charlotte disability attorney, then you know how important medical evidence (records, test results,etc.) is to the outcome of your application for Social Security disability benefits. Medical opinion evidence also can play a critical role. In fact, Social Security must give a doctor’s medical opinion “controlling weight” if that opinion meets the following three criteria:
- “Aceptable medical source.” Does the opinion come from an “acceptable medical source” for Social Security purposes? Acceptable medical sources are physicians (medical or osteopathic doctors); psychologists; podiatrists; optometrists; and qualified speech-language pathologists.
- Treating doctor. Is the doctor who provided the opinion your treating doctor, or a doctor your went to once or twice for the purpose of obtaining a medical opinion?
- Medically sound. Is the doctor’s opinion supported by medically acceptable diagnostic techniques?
If a medical opinion is given “controlling weight,” this means that Social Security must adopt the doctor’s opinion as its own. If the medical opinion evidence in your case does not meet these criteria (e.g,. if the opinion is from a chiropractor you saw one time), then it will still be considered by the Social Security decision-maker, but will be given less weight.