Treating Physician Rule
Treating physician rule (“TPR”) is a principle that when assessing the medical evidence of a Social Security Disability claimant, the administrative law judge (“ALJ”) should give greater weight to the opinions of treating physicians than to the opinions of non-treating physicians. The TPR seems simple enough, yet ALJ’s fail to follow it countless times in order to erroneously deny SSD benefits.
If the TPR rationale were understood, then there should be far fewer instances where ALJ’s erroneously fail to give proper weight to the opinions of treating physicians. I represent a marketing manager who received a fully favorable decision from ALJ Mark Hecht yesterday. The decision contained a through and comprehensible explanation for giving greater weight to the opinions of treating physicians:
Generally, SSA gives more weight to the opinion of a source who has examined the individual than to the opinion of a source who has not examined you. Further, more weight is usually given to opinions from the individual’s treating sources, since those sources are likely to be the medical professionals most able to provide a detailed, longitudinal picture of the person’s medical impairment(s) and may bring a unique perspective to the medical evidence that cannot be obtained from the objective medical findings alone or from reports of individual examinations, such as a consultative examinations or brief hospitalizations. Generally the longer a treating source has treated the person and the more times the person has been seen by a treating source, the more weight SSA will give to the source’s medical opinion. When the treating source has seen the individual a number of times and long enough to have obtained a longitudinal picture of the person’s impairment, SSA will give the source’s opinion more weight than we would give it if it were from a nontreating source. Other relevant factors which will be considered in assessing the opinions of treating sources are the nature and extent of the treatment relationship; supportability of the opinion; consistency with the medical findings; and, the specialization of the treating source.
The decision followed a partially favorable decision that a different ALJ had issued. The result is that the claimant will receive an additional 15 months of SSD benefits. Any SSD claim that is denied in whole or part when the treating doctors support should be appealed
Disability Law Blog
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Just wanted to thank you again for helping me with my case. With me being very impatient with the whole SS process, you always talked me off the ledge and reassured me that everything was going to be fine. I know I can never thank you enough. I wanted you to know how appreciative my wife and I am for all the hard work that you guys did for me. I do now and always will continue to recommend Mr. Delott to anyone needing help. Have a nice day.
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I wanted to express my gratitude to you, for winning my Social Security Disability Insurance (SSD) claim. Though my words will never truly match the abundant respect and appreciation I have for your firm’s skill and careful handling of my SSD case, I thought I should, at the very least, begin with this letter. I originally hired another SSD attorney to represent me on my claim; my claim was mishandled by that attorney’s office and consequently denied. At that point I was already out of… Read more
I applied for disability on my own and was denied. I was referred to Mr. Delott and couldn’t be happier with the outcome of my case which was approved. Mr. Delott is the most knowledgeable, efficient attorney who gave his undivided personal attention and guided me every step of the way. You won’t find a better disability attorney.
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From the onset of working with Jeffrey Delott, I found him to be efficient and knowledgeable. He was very understanding about my situation and easy to talk to.. I am extremely satisfied with the results I acheived working with Jeffrey Delott’s firm.
I cannot begin to thank Mr. Delott for his outstanding commitment to securing Social Security Disability for my husband, Andrew. When my husband was first diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s, I was not only overcome with the grief of his disease but facing the reality of financial disaster due to his inability to work. My husband was only 59 at the time of his diagnosis. It was through sharing my situation with my co-workers that Mr. Delott’s name was given to me as a referral, and the… Read more
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It has taken me time to think about what to say to you for all the compassion and hard work you have done for me. You called me to appraise me of every step I needed to take and at what point my case was at. Whenever I had a question or concern I would call you, If you were unavailable you did call me back ASAP. You heard me cry, you listened when I was at financial brink, you knew my pain was real. You did not treat me like I was a piece of paper coming across your desk and another case to… Read more
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I’m not the type of person that sits and sends letters out to people, but everyone at The Law Offices of Jeffrey Delott Law was professional and responsive to me. I’m still amazed at the speed and efficiency in which my disability case was handled from start to finish. I can’t thank you enough.
“Thank you for all of the excellent work you did on my behalf to help me win my appeal for long term disability benefits. Throughout that difficult time my comfort was knowing that I had the best attorney on the job. Your foresight of all possible contingencies and your proactive approach really helped me to get a handle on the many documents and doctor’s visits required to put forth the best possible case. You put your incredibly thorough knowledge of this area of law to its best use every… Read more
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Jeffrey Delott’s Law office was dedicated to getting my S.S.D. benefits. They were always patient and eager to help me. I was treated kindly and honestly and highly recommend using Jeffrey Delott to win your case. “From the moment I had my first conversation I knew I was in very good hands, and felt confident that I would have a favorable outcome. Whenever I had a question or concern it was answered right away. I highly recommend Jeffrey Delott and his staff to represent you for any disabil… Read more
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I am an attorney who suffered a permanent disability. Once disabled I had to decide whether to represent myself in a petition against the Social Security Administration or to retain another attorney to pursue the claim on my behalf. As an attorney I had access to the court system. As a result I was familiar with administrative judges, court clerks, attorneys and other persons employed in the field of disability law. If you want to know who are the best and brightest attorneys in any fiel… Read more
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