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Many who suffer from back injuries receive care from a chiropractor instead of a medical doctor. But this may affect your ability to receive Social Security Disability benefits as the SSA only lists medical doctors, osteopaths, psychiatrists and, in some cases, licensed psychologists as acceptable medical sources.
Since a chiropractor doesn’t have a medical degree, you will likely be required to be examined by an SSA-appointed (and funded) medical doctor in order for your claim to be considered. However, these consultative exams are often very brief and conducted by a physician you’re meeting for the first time. The doctor may be unfamiliar with your case and therefore unqualified to properly assess your condition.
If a chiropractor has been giving you care for a significant period of time, an SSA judge or examiner can consider his or her records – it’s happened before. But since they’re not technically deemed “acceptable medical sources” in the SSA’s eyes, we recommend that you seek the opinion of a medical doctor who can become familiar with your case. (For more on this, click back to our recent series on working with doctors in your Social Security Disability case.) It’s safe to say the odds are high that a medical doctor’s opinion will be given higher weight than the opinion of a chiropractor according to the SSA’s standards.
If you believe you qualify for SSI or SSDI and have questions about the process or feel your claim has been wrongfully denied, please contact us to schedule a free initial consultation today. We can be reached by phone (toll-free:1.877.526.3457) or through our online contact form.
Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law