Social Security Disability is a legal proceeding that uses medical evidence like any other civil or criminal court would use evidence. While all forms of evidence relevant to the disability status of the claimant are admissible, only one type of evidence is controlling. Thus, there exist two types of evidence; primary and supporting evidence. Primary evidence, known as acceptable medical sources, that shows or proves a claimant’s disability is necessary to find a claimant disabled. Supporting evidence, however, can only be used to support the primary evidence. For example, a claimant will not be found disabled by a therapist’s medical statements. A claimant could, however, be found disabled by the medical statements of a PHD psychiatrist or PHD psychologist. The therapist’s medical statements could be used to add weight to the psychiatrist’s or psychologists medical statements. Therefore, the PHD psychiatrist or psychologist is primary evidence, but the therapist is only supporting evidence.
Here are some tips for building the medical evidence necessary to win your case. Always see the doctor or medical professional with the best credentials. Licensed doctors, PHD mental health professionals, and even ARNPs are sources of primary evidence. You can still visit your therapist or nurse practitioner, but you must also schedule appointments with more credentialed medical professionals. Lastly, get a hold of well written third party statements.
Third party statements are letters written by friends, family, or any other witness that has firsthand knowledge of your disability and how it has affected your life. While these statements are supporting evidence, they are still important. You want them to be well written, and to detail your limitations. To conclude, all evidence is important, but you must have primary evidence from credentialed medical professionals to win disability benefits.