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My Records Have Been Reviewed by a Physician Selected by the Social Security Administration for an Independent Opinion: Can My Application for Benefits Be Denied Based on What This Person Says?

social security disability form and card

For anyone who ever has applied for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits, it may come as a surprise that apart of the SSD application process often involves both physical examinations of applicants as well as records reviews by physicians of various specialties or mental health professionals. The Social Security Administration (SSA) in processing and reviewing SSD benefit applications will review the records of an applicant’s treating physicians and healthcare providers, but also will also seek outside opinions of healthcare professionals as to what the individual applicant’s particular ability to work is, even considering the limitations of the disabling condition that serves as the basis for the individual’s SSD application. However, these examinations often are little more than rushed physical examinations or a cursory review of an incomplete set of the applicant’s medical records, which results in an incorrect or inaccurate picture of the applicant’s ability to work. Therefore, the assistance of an experienced SSD attorney like the Virginia SSD attorneys of Kalfus & Nachman is often required in order to keep the SSA from denying your claim for SSD benefits based upon the findings of an “independent” physician whose opinions are sought out by the SSA for dozens, if not hundreds, of SSD applicants annually and who may have a vested interest in reaching whatever conclusion as to your disability status that the SSA would prefer. Our experienced attorneys can discount the opinions expressed by these physicians to keep the SSA from denying your application on the basis of these individuals’ opinions and reports.

SSA Consulting Physicians Are Not Independent, Regardless of What the SSA May Say

SSA uses many of the same physicians for examinations of SSD applicants on a routine basis. For example, for every applicant within a particular geographical region with a related health condition (such as a lower back injury), it may refer each applicant to the same orthopedic surgeon for an evaluation as to the applicant’s functional limitations given his or her lower back condition. These physicians are paid by the Social Security Administration for each examination they do and thus are likely to want to please the SSA with whatever opinions they ultimately express. Thus, there is a built-in incentive for these “independent” physicians to determine that an SSD applicant is indeed capable of working in one capacity or another so they continue to receive referrals from the SSA. These doctors thus are not truly “independent.” Their opinions also often are not based upon anything more than what is often a five minute, cursory exam or instead a quick glance through your medical records. Thus, based both upon the way their examinations are performed themselves as well as the incentive system for such healthcare professionals, their opinions need to be discounted.

Talk to The Experienced Social Security Disability Attorneys at Kalfus & Nachman

The experienced SSD attorneys at Kalfus & Nachman know how to ensure that the SSA does not rely upon the often skewed findings of their own independent physicians rather than the physicians actually treating you for the condition for which you are seeking SSD benefits in making a decision on your SSD application. Given the weaknesses of the opinions expressed by the “independent” physicians that SSA often will send SSD applicants to, discounting their opinions is not difficult for experienced SSD attorneys. We can and often do point out how the conclusions of one of the physicians the SSA sent you too are often completely inconsistent with the records of the physicians actually treating our clients. If you live in the Norfolk, Hampton, Newport News, Portsmouth, Virginia Beach or Roanoke, Virginia, areas and need assistance determining if you qualify for the SSD benefits, what your expected monthly benefit would be if you qualify for benefits, filing your SSD application, or filing an appeal, please contact Kalfus & Nachman PC by phone at (855) 880-8163 or through the form on this page to schedule a free consultation.

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