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Acceptable sources of medical information

When applying for Social Security Disability Insurance, applicants will need to offer evidence of their impairments, and that evidence needs to come from medical professionals deemed "acceptable" by the Social Security Administration. Then, after the impairment has been established, the SSA will accept other sources of information, including non-medical evidence, to assess the severity of the impairment.

Here is a list of medical professionals and sources of information that are acceptable for establishing the impairment:

-- Certified or licensed psychologists: These include school psychologists who can assess intellectual and learning disabilities.

-- Licensed optometrists: These are used to show evidence of a visual disorder.

-- Licensed podiatrists: These doctors can establish impairments for the ankle and foot only.

-- Qualified speech-language pathologists: These professionals are used to establish a language or speech impairment.

-- Medical evidence from treating sources: The SSA puts emphasis on medical data received from treating sources. Accurate and timely medical reports created by treating sources are therefore important in any SSA claim, and can even speed up the SSA's decision-making process.

-- Medical evidence received from health facilities: Evidence is also accepted from clinics, hospitals and other facilities that have treated the claimant. Any medical reports sent to will be considered during the evaluation process.

Before submitting a claim for disability benefits, Alabama, residents seeking Social Security benefits may want to discuss their situation with an experienced benefits attorney. A lawyer will be able to evaluate the evidence of their disability to determine if more evidence -- or more detailed diagnoses -- should be pursued from qualified sources.

Source: Social Security Administration, "Disability Evaluation Under Social Security," accessed Sep. 23, 2016

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