Court Says Medical Opinion After Social Security Hearing Good

Joe Di Bartolomeo
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Posted on Oct 16, 2015

In this federal court case, the court found that an ALJ made a mistake in rejecting a treating physician’s opinion. The ALJ found that the treating physician’s opinion was not relevant because it was offered after the date of hearing. However, the federal court pointed out that the ALJ failed to consider the fact that the physician’s opinion had addressed the disability claimant’s condition for more than 2 ½ years prior to the actual hearing date.

By the time a Social Security Disability claimant makes at the hearing, the application is usually two years old.  Over that many months, medical records accumulate, and some medical conditions will worsen.

When a treating physician offers an opinion, he or she is often addressing not just the Claimant's current status, but is looking back over several months to provide an opinion on what the disability claimant could and could not do.

Many Administrative Law Judge's will allow the record to stay open so that a disability claimant can obtain updated medical records. Often times, these records will only address the disability claimant's condition over the last few months.

However, it is not so much when the record was submitted, but the time period it covers.  Check out this article that talks about medical opinions and Social Security Disability.