The administrative law judge who heads the disability hearing can evaluate a variety of opinion evidence, as your disability lawyer in Augusta can explain. He or she may explain the following types of opinion evidence.
Opinions from Health Care Professionals
Your personal physician may submit a report to the Social Security Administration that provides further evidence about his or her opinion regarding your medical impairment. He or she may discuss limitations that your impairments cause, your treatment, your diagnosis, and your prognosis. According to Social Security regulations, a treating doctor’s opinion may be controlling if it matches certain requirements. Even if these statements are not controlling, they can still be very influential because the administrative law judge may not see any subjective reason why a physician would exaggerate your impairments. As a treating physician, your doctor is in the best position to evaluate your impairment and how it has progressed through time.
Your statements will be considered by the administrative law judge. In particular, the judge will assess whether the statements about your impairment and its effect on your daily living and ability to work are consistent with other statements that you have made through your medical records and statements to the Social Security Administration. In particular, the administrative law judge may question any contradictory statements that you make.
Statements from Others
Witnesses may come to the disability hearing to offer a different perspective. This may include family members, co-workers, previous supervisors, friends, or neighbors. These individuals may come to the disability hearing, or they may offer their lay opinion in the form of a letter that they submit to the judge through your disability lawyer in Augusta. They may offer information about how they have personally witnessed you struggle with the impairment, how your daily activities have been affected since you have been diagnosed, how you have trouble concentrating, how much pain you have experienced, and when you have shown symptoms.
Legal Assistance from a Disability Lawyer in Augusta
If you would like more information on how opinion evidence may be evaluated in your disability hearing, contact a disability lawyer in Augusta from Wilkinson & Magruder, LLP by calling (706) 737-0771.