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FAQ About Getting Your Doctor’s Opinion on Your New York Social Security Disability Claim, Part 1

A qualified and experienced  New York disability attorney will ask your treating doctor to fill out a medical data and assessment  (opinion) form and will  explain  how  he can  best provide assistance. Doctors sometimes ask  what information the Social Security Administration requires: what questions  they must answer, and in what detail;   how  they  should describe your limitations;  if they should expressly recommend  functional capacity findings; and if they are required to have  special expertise to effectively address particular medical issues.  This article will answer all of these questions.

What is the question the doctor is ultimately trying to answer?

To what extent can the claimant sustain work-related activity eight hours a day, five days a week, and fifty weeks a year?

Why does a claimant’s physician need to give an opinion about a Social Security disability claim?

The perspective that the treating physician brings to the claim is considered  by Social Security as to be uniquely knowledgeable,, since   individual examination reports with  objective medical findings cannot convey so much information with so  much depth.

What information should the doctor submit to the Social Security Administration?

The doctor should submit information concerning the extent, severity, nature, and duration of a patient’s impairments. Also, he or she should include opinions and observations on how well a patient can function, in light of his impairments.

Should the doctor refer the patient for a functional capacity evaluation?

Not usually. SSA never asks a claimant to undergo  functional capacity evaluation; and , such functional capacity evaluations are  usually so  short, as not   to not properly answer the main questions.

Does a physician need special expertise in order to give an opinion as to a patient’s work capacity?

The treating doctor’s  longitudinal knowledge of the patient’s condition is what is being sought.  The SSA recognizes that a doctor who has been treating a patient for a prolonged period  has  particularly  valuable contributions to make  in helping to determine his  patient’s capacity for  work. To ensure that your doctor is properly informed by a qualified New York Social Security attorney, call Herbert Forsmith at (212) 809-1772 or (845) 278-2896. Continue to Part 2.