How social security disability regulations are changing

Making my Case: How social security disability regulations are changing.

Social security law can be difficult to interpret. It’s hard enough prepare for your hearing, but it is even harder to prepare when the Social Security Administration (SSA) changes their rules. Our Tallahassee social security lawyers have been keeping abreast of the latest proposed changes to the regulations affecting your SSDI and SSI claims. For example, the SSA has considered revising their definition and categorization of evidence, and their list of “accepted medical sources.” Currently, evidence is defined as anything the SSA receives that will help an administrative law judge determine your SSDI or SSI case. Current categories for evidence are:

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• Objective medical evidence
• Other evidence from medical resources (this includes opinions)
• Statements you or others make
• Information from other sources
• Decisions by any other government or non-governmental agency
• Certain findings and opinions made by SSA employees

The newly defined evidence categories are:

• Objective medical evidence
• Medical opinions
• Other medical evidence
• Statements from non-medical sources
• Prior administrative medical findings

The re-categorization is aimed broaden the definitions of each section. This will make it easier to determine where each piece of evidence is placed in your file.

In addition to this reorganization, the SSA seeks to expand their list of “accepted medical sources” when considering your medical evidence. Currently, there are only a handful of sources that are accepted as medical sources for your social security hearing:

• Licensed physicians
• Licensed psychologists: includes school psychologists, or other professionals in schools who perform the functions of a licensed psychologist under different title
• Licensed optometrists: only for establishing visual disorders
• Licensed podiatrists: for establishing impairments of foot, or foot and ankle
• Qualified speech-language pathologists: for establishing speech or language impairments

The SSA has considered changing this list to reflect a change in the country’s medical workforce. For example, the SSA proposes expanding the title, “accepted medical source” to incorporate registered nurse practitioners because they provide an increasing proportion of primary care to Americans. In Tallahassee, our disability lawyers know many clients who do not have private health insurance (as well as some people who do have coverage) are treated exclusively by providers who are not medical doctors. Other new “accepted medical sources” include audiologist, certified nurse midwife, certified registered nurse anesthetist, and clinical nurse specialist. There are only a few social security disability attorneys in Tallahassee- we are here to meet with you, evaluate your SSDI application or appeal and do all we can to fight for you.