Your doctor’s opinion can make a big difference in your Social Security disability case, but not all opinions are given the same weight.

Without your doctor’s opinion, you may not be approved for Social Security disability benefits, but just because your doctor says you are disabled, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll be approved for benefits. Sometimes, doctor’s opinions are used as the final deciding factor in determining eligibility, which is called controlling weight. We went over controlling weight in our last blog, but what happens if your doctor opinion isn’t given controlling weight? If your doctor’s opinion isn’t given controlling weight, there are a number of factors that the SSA considers when determining how much weight to give your doctor’s opinion, including:

#1. The nature of your relationship.

The SSA will consider the amount and type of treatment that is provided by the physician. For example, if your doctor is a gynecologist, and he or she is giving their opinion about your spine injury, that opinion will be weighed less heavily.

#2. If your doctor is a specialist or a general practitioner.

In most cases, the opinion of a specialist who is working within their specialty will be weighed more heavily than a general practitioner’s opinion.

#3. The frequency and length of treatment.

The SSA believes that a doctor who has been treating you and examining you for a long period of time will have more detailed knowledge about your limitations and treatment than a doctor who has only seen you for a short time.

There are just a couple more factors that the SSA considers when determining the weight of your doctor’s opinions. Stay tuned for more Social Security help in Louisville in our next post!