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What are acceptable medical sources when seeking SSD benefits?

When Indiana residents are seeking Social Security disability benefits, there are certain criteria that must be met to get an approval. This terminology might sound somewhat confusing to a person who is suffering from an illness, condition or injury and can be difficult to understand. However, it is a key to know about these factors. Particularly important are the medical sources that the Social Security Administration deems acceptable. The decision on whether a person is disabled or not is based on the medical evidence. The claimant must show the evidence that the impairment exists and that it is severe enough to warrant SSD benefits.

The SSA can assist with getting the medical reports with the claimant's medical sources. Treating physicians are generally used to provide this evidence. The impairment must be documented by licensed medical or osteopathic doctors. For psychological issues, it can be verified by licensed or certified psychologists. Included are school psychologists who do the same job in a school setting and do so to establish intellectual disability, any learning disabilities, and borderline intellectual functioning.

If there are visual disorders, a licensed optometrist can be used. With foot problems, the doctor must be a licensed podiatrist to establish impairments involving the foot or the foot and ankle. Finally, with speech or language impairments, a qualified pathologist for speech and language can be used. The doctor must be licensed by the state, certified by the state education agency, or they must have received a Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American-Speech-Language-Hearing-Association.

When a person believes he or she has a medical problem that meets the threshold for disability benefits, one of the keys is to follow the rules as laid out by the SSA. Part of that is meeting the evidentiary requirements. Those who would otherwise be approved for benefits but do not meet these requirements will likely be rejected. Because of that, it is wise to have help from a legal professional experienced in Social Security disability who understands the evidentiary requirements and how to meet them.

Source: ssa.gov, "Part II -- Evidentiary Requirements -- Acceptable Medical Sources," accessed on Dec. 28, 2016

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