Disability benefit claims usually result in a battle of the medical experts where your doctor says you cannot work and their doctor says you can. Having other doctors corroborate your doctor’s opinion will help insure that your doctor’s opinion will be accepted over their doctor’s opinion.
When applying for Social Security Disability (“SSD”) benefits you might be able to succeed ultimately with only one supporting treating physician. However, experience has shown that in most cases your claim will be denied initially if you have only one supporting doctor.
I represent a carpenter who became unable to work when he was 49 years old due to neck, back and shoulder problems. His application was approved today without ever being denied. The claimant is being treated by a physiatrist, which is an appropriate specialist for the claimant’s impairments. Instead of simply relying on the opinion of the claimant’s physiatrist, I secured opinions from the claimant’s pain management specialist and chiropractor too.
While the claimant may have been able to receive SSD benefits without the concurring medical opinions, stacking the deck in the claimant’s favor minimized the chances of his having to file an appeal. While the chiropractor is not a medical doctor, the frequency and extended duration of his treatment rendered his opinion regarding the severity of the claimant’s condition important. By presenting three medical opinions to support the claimant’s application, it took far less time than usual for the claimant to start receiving SSD benefits, which gave him critical cash flow now that he lost his working income.