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Tucson Social Security Disability Blog

Social Security to Accept More Medical Opinions

Posted by John Kuhnlein | Feb 23, 2017 | 0 Comments

The recent changes in Social Security regulations do contain one bit of good news.  For those cases filed or or after March 27, 2017, Social Security will accept the opinions of a larger group of medical professionals.  Social Security has a list of those practitioners it considers worthy of rendering persuasive opinions. Historically, this has been limited to medical doctors. But now, Social Security will also consider what the following medical professionals have to say:

Can You Hear Me Now?

*     Physician's Assistants

*     Advanced Practice Registered Nurses

*     Licensed audiologists 

*     Licensed optometrists

A Welcome Change

This is a welcome change. The practice of medicine has greatly changed over the past decades. Substantially more care is provided by persons other than medical doctors.  These changes will mean that Social Security's review of the medical evidence will be more in line with the realities of how people get medical treatment.  Before this rule change, Social Security could elect to simply disregard the person who has been treating you simply because of that person's status.  This was unfair, given that most people have little say in who provides their medical care.

Mental Health Cases To See Biggest Impact

Eye Can See Clearly Now

This change is likely to have the biggest impact on mental health cases.  Most persons getting psychiatric care rarely, if ever, see a medical doctor. Virtually all of the care is provided by such people as Physicians Assistants and Nurse Practitioners. 

Social Security took away the treating source rule, but this expansion of who can offer medical testimony may help to alleviate that change.  While your Nurse Practitioner may not have the final word on your care, at least Social Security will be listening to what he has to say. 

About the Author

John Kuhnlein

Since 1992, I have been helping the people of Southern Arizona get the benefits they are due. Before devoting all my efforts to assisting people with Social Security disability claims, I also handled such complex lawsuits as medical malpractice and products liability. I brought to my Social Security cases all the skills and attention to detail that I developed in the courtroom. I approach each Social Security disability case as if it were a million-dollar lawsuit. For the people trying to get Social Security benefits, their claim is every bit as important. Because I have personally handled so many Social Security cases, I have refined the skills I need to win your case for you. I have helped people win cases for every kind of ailment from arthritis to valley fever. At present, I am focused on helping those persons with neurological and orthopedic disorders. Because claims for people over age fifty bring additional complications, I particularly seek out those cases to work on. I regularly write about back and spine conditions on my blog. I actively seek out the latest information about orthopedic and neurological disorders to ensure I can represent my clients as effectively as possible. Because of my current focus, I regret that I am not able to take any cases for mental disorders. If you are over age fifty and suffer from any orthopedic or neurological disorder, please contact me at once.


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John Kuhnlein has been assisting people with Social Security disability claims for the past 25+ years.

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