At the same time Social Security decodified the treating physician rule, it also named a nurse practitioner (“NP”) or any advanced practice nurse (“APN”) as an acceptable medical source (“AMS”). The amendment placed the opinion of such nurses on equal footing with physicians. Among other things, the effect of the amendment meant that when a claimant was primarily treated by an NP or APN, the claimant no longer needed to get the nurse’s reports co-signed by a physician, and an Administrative Law Judge could no longer disregard the nurse’s opinion.
We represent a 55 year old Park Attendant from Massapequa with mental impairments who was approved for Social Security Disability (“SSD”) benefits today. Social Security had been vacillating about approving SSD benefits, apparently because the primary treating opinion was from a psychiatric nurse practitioner (“PNP”).
Social Security’s website states that mental health records are confidential, and do not need to be provided. However, shortly after we submitted the PNP’s extensive progress notes, it seemed Social Security recognized the persuasiveness of the PNP’s opinion, and found the claimant disabled.
When applying for SSD benefits, it is beneficial to have an experienced disability attorney handle your claim. We offer a free phone consultation, and have offices located on Long Island in Nassau and Suffolk counties.
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