During the first two levels of review for a Social Security Disability (“SSD”) application, the State agency basically has its doctors deciding the claim. The State agency doctors frequently lack the credentials or qualifications to evaluate a claimant’s impairments. Therefore, Social Security attempts to insulate the opinions of State agency doctors by refusing to disclose their full names.
Although federal courts rarely accept the opinions of the State agency medical consultants, administrative law judges (“ALJs”) frequently rely on those opinions to deny SSD benefits. Fortunately, ALJ Crawley is not one of them.
We represent a 54 year old financial analyst from North Babylon with severe back and knee impairments. His SSD application was at the first two levels of review based upon the opinions of the State agency doctors, who asserted the claimant could perform light work. ALJ Crawley rejected those opinions in favor of the claimant’s physiatrist for two reasons. First, the opinions of State agency doctors were unpersuasive because they were based on a review of the record, and not a direct examination of the claimant. Second, those opinions were obtained before significant evidence was available for review, which rendered them less relevant in assessing the claimant’s functioning.
If you are considering applying for disability benefits, it is in your best interest to retain an attorney who specializes in disability. You can call our office for a free phone consultation. Our offices are conveniently located on Long Island in both Nassau and Suffolk counties.
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