It sometimes happens that even after your hearing, a judge will still not be certain if you are disabled. When this occurs, the judge may send you to see another doctor. The purpose of this additional medical appointment is to allow a doctor to assess your current status.
If Your Last Medical Report Is Out Of Date, A New One Can Be Necessary
Not surprisingly, this is happening more often. One reason for this increase is that Social Security's medical information in your file can be out of date by the time you see a judge. When you first apply for disability benefits, Social Security is likely to ask one of their doctors to examine you. This doctor's report will factor into the way in which Social Security denies you. After you appeal this denial and ask to see a judge whole years can go by while you wait. During that time, your health may continue to worsen. You could, for example, develop new conditions that the Social Security doctor did not know about. You could also age into a new category, meaning that the doctor's findings have a different application.
Your Lawyer Can Argue About The Doctor's Opinions
If a judge decides you need to see another doctor, he will ask Social Security to arrange it. They usually move pretty fast. Your medical appointment is likely to be within a month of when you see the judge. After the doctor examines you, she will report back to the judge. Your lawyer will also get a copy of the doctor's report. Unless the doctor's findings are clearly in your favor, your lawyer is likely to prepare a response. The response will argue in your favor about what the doctor determined.
Remember To Ask For Another Hearing
It is important to note that you are entitled to another hearing to discuss the doctor's findings. If you ask for another hearing, the judge has to hold it. This can take time to schedule. While you wait you can ask your own doctor to comment on the Social Security doctor's findings. Bear in mind that the judge is supposed to give controlling weight to what your own doctor says about you.
The Critical Importance Of This Doctor's Opinions
For a lot of judges, the report of the doctor you see after the hearing is the final word. It is as if this one report replaces everything else in the file. It is obviously very important to attend the appointment. It is also critical to cooperate with the Social Security doctor so that she may prepare a thorough analysis of your condition.
If you have questions about this or anything else, please call or text.