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The Treating Physician Rule

The Treating Physician Rule
By Nicholas Wearne, Associate Attorney
Code of Federal Regulations Section 404.1527(2)(c)(1) states that the Social Security Administration will give more weight to a source that has examined and treated you than one that has not examined and treated you.
When you apply for Social Security Disability your file will be reviewed by many different people including doctors.  The doctors who review your file will likely take a stance or make a determination regarding what your work restrictions should and should not be.  While your initial application can be denied for many different reasons, a reason that I see often is that the reviewing doctors felt my clients could return back to a level of work where there are not disabled.
How is this possible when the law states that your treating doctor is supposed to be given more weight than a doctor that has not examined you?  It usually happens because peoples treating doctors have not given an opinion on what they are and are not able to do as far as work.  If your treating doctor has not given you specific work restrictions then there is no opinion to refute the one given by the reviewing doctors with social security disability. 

When I sign social security applicants up for representation one of the first things I do is get an opinion on file from the treating doctor regarding what they are and are not able to do as far as work.  They may still get denied at the initial levels but will have a solid legal argument that they are disabled.  I refer to Section 404.1527 in almost every hearing I do.  If you believe yourself to be disabled and would like help in getting an opinion regarding work restrictions from your treating doctor, contact Snow Carpio and Weekley for a free consultation.