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Can My Doctor’s Opinion Be Used to Help My Disability Claim?

Disability attorneys often look to a claimant’s primary doctor or treating physician for a medical opinion as to the client’s impairment. This might be the most important evidence presented in your case, especially because under the SSA rules and regulations, the doctor’s opinion might be “controlling”—that is, the SSA will automatically adopt the doctor’s opinion in its decision.

FAQ: How Long Will It Take to Get a Hearing Scheduled After I Appeal?

After you file your second appeal requesting a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge, be prepared to wait a long time to get a date for your hearing and then a few months more for decision to be made. Nationally, hearing offices average about 15.5 months from the date a request for a hearing is filed until a decision is handed down.

How Do I Know if I am Doing Substantial Gainful Activity?

The Social Security Administra¬tion uses the “Sequential Evaluation Process” to determine your eligibility for benefits. The first step in the Sequential Evaluation Process evaluates whether you are performing work at the “substantial gainful activity” level, which essentially asks whether your work involves “significant physical or mental activities.

Budget Cuts Hinder SSA Operations

Congress has passed a Continuing Resolution effectively freezing funding for the Social Security Administration for the first half of fiscal year 2013 at the fiscal year-2012 level. To accommodate these budget reductions in the face of growing demand for Social Security services, the Social Security Administration has modified the business hours of field offices.