If you apply for disability benefits, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will need to thoroughly review your medical records. During this review, the SSA will look for evidence that proves your mental or physical condition meets the legal definition of disability. But, the SSA will only accept medical records that have been provided by “acceptable medical sources.” Is a chiropractor an acceptable medical source? Here’s what you should know:
How the SSA Defines “Acceptable Medical Source”
According to the SSA, an acceptable medical source is a medical professional who can provide evidence that proves the existence of a “medically determinable impairment.” Some examples of acceptable medical sources include:
- Licensed physicians
- Licensed psychologists
- Licensed optometrists
- School psychologists
- Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs)
- Physician Assistants (PAs)
The SSA will review evidence submitted by these medical professionals. Furthermore, the SSA will consider the professional opinions of these healthcare providers when determining whether or not you qualify for benefits. For example, a physician may provide a written statement that outlines how your disability has impacted your life. The SSA will take this into consideration since it is written by an acceptable medical source.
Is A Chiropractor An Acceptable Medical Source?
A chiropractor is not considered an acceptable medical source. If you submitted records from your chiropractor, the SSA would not take the chiropractor’s diagnosis or opinion into consideration when deciding whether or not you qualify for benefits. But, the SSA may look at some portion of these records.
For example, let’s say you submit results from an MRI scan that was ordered by your chiropractor. The MRI results strengthen your case because they clearly show evidence of your disabling physical condition. Will the SSA even review these results? In cases like these, the SSA will not look at the records from the chiropractor, so they will not see your chiropractor’s notes or details on how your chiropractor treated your disability. But, the SSA will review the MRI results even though the test was ordered by your chiropractor. However, it may be harder for the SSA to interpret the results since they will not look at the chiropractor’s records.
This example illustrates the importance of submitting evidence from acceptable medical sources. If you only provide these records from your chiropractor, the SSA may not have the information it needs to approve your claim.
Are you unable to work as a result of a disability? If so, seek legal representation from the experienced attorneys at Armstrong & Vaught, P.L.C. at once. Let us guide you through the process of applying for disability benefits so we can protect your rights and fight for the benefits you deserve. Call us at (918) 582-2500 or toll-free at (800) 722-8880 or complete the simple form below for a free consultation with a skilled attorney.