Waiting times for Social Security Disability (“SSD”) hearings are notorious. A consequence of the delays is that by the time your hearing comes around, the evidence that you obtained, often at significant expense, has become “stale.”
The prolonged wait for a hearing creates a dilemma. You must submit supportive medical opinions at the initial and reconsideration stages of the administrative review to have any chance of your application being approved. Moreover, frequently an opinion will be found more persuasive the closer in time it is given to the onset of the disability. However, if your claim is denied at those stages, the opinion will be considered too old to establish ongoing disability by the time you appear for a hearing.
A medical opinion is usually submitted in the form of a narrative report or a medical source statement. Physicians and other medical sources often charge a fee for providing their opinion, which they perceive as being extraneous to their treating you. The expense of updating a medical opinion can be reduced without having to pay for a second narrative report or medical source statement.
We represent a 50 year old from St. Albans with musculoskeletal and urological impairments, who had worked as a police officer. Besides paying out of pocket for medical treatment, the claimant had paid for medical reports to submit in connection with her SSD application. At the hearing, the administrative law judge, familiar with my practice, stated that she would accept a note from the claimant’s doctor stating that the restrictions and limitations in the previously submitted reports had not changed. Experience has shown that physicians rarely charge for such a note.
If you are thinking about applying for disability, you should contact an experienced disability attorney to discuss your potential claim for SSD benefits. We offer a free phone consultation, and we are available 5 days a week to take your calls. Our offices are located in both Nassau and Suffolk counties on Long Island.
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