The Social Security Administration (“SSA”) gives greater weight to the disability opinion of a specialist than an internist, who frequently is considered to be a generalist. Many people do not even think to ask their internists to complete reports to support their disability application, which is a mistake.
An internist can be the most appropriate physician to provide a disability opinion in many circumstances. For example, when a claimant has multiple, different types of impairments your internist is probably the best person to ask for an opinion as the physician most knowledgeable about all of your medical problems. An internist is also usually responsible for continuing care after other specialists have completed their job, such as a surgeon who may only follow up once after the operation.
The SSA approved two cases this week based on the medical information that internists provided. One claimant was a 54 year old home health aide with orthopedic impairments, diabetes, and carpal tunnel syndrome, while the other was a 44 year old nurse with orthopedic problems and anxiety. Each internist gave functional assessments and narrative information that explained why the claimants lacked the ability to work on a full time basis.