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Social Security Disability SSI and Chiropractors records, evidence

I just thought I would mention this since I am sure 99 percent of all applicants for social security disability or SSI are not aware of the fact. If you have a severe back condition (degenerative disc disease, arthritis, scoliosis, etc) and this forms the basis or partial basis for your claim, make sure you understand that records from a chiropractor are NOT considered medical evidence---not by disability examiners and not by administrative law judges.

Chiropractic medicine helps alleviate the pain of many thousands of patients. However, chiropractors are not considered medical treatment sources by the social security administration and their records are not used in deciding social security disability and SSI disability cases.

Tip: if you have back problems and are receiving treatment only from a chiropractor, you should, for the benefit of your case, consider seeking treatment from an M.D., possibly an orthopedist, and, perhaps, a pain specialist if you have ongoing and debilitating levels of pain.

Valid medical records

Medical records from hospitals, clinics, etc., by contrast, are valid forms of documentation, provided that the individual signing off on any reports from these treatment sources is considered to be “acceptable.” Social Security recognizes the medical opinions of licensed MDs, DOs (osteopaths), psychologists and optometrists. It does not give any weight to the opinions of chiropractors, although a disability examiner may review any x-rays or other medical tests ordered by chiropractors before making a decision.

I am not knocking chiropractic and chiropractors in the least. I went to a chiropractor once and it didn't help. I went to a different chiropractor afterward and it seemed to do me a substantial amount of good. I also know individuals who also seem to benefit from their type of therapy.

However, because chiropractors are not licensed medical doctors, their notes are useless and not usable for the purpose of evaluating a disability claim. So, if you file an ssd or ssi claim, make sure you have records from an internist (general practitioner) or orthopedist. The xrays from a chiropractor may be gathered by social security, but that's as much use as a chiropractor's records will be.

Return to:  Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions

Related pages:

What to expect at a Social Security Disability medical exam
Will Social Security contact me about my Disability Hearing?
How many disability applications are approved?
Partial disability benefits
Disability requirements and how to file in Texas
Applying for Disability - Rules and Requirements
Disability requirements, eligibility, criteria
How to File for SSI
Social Security Disability hearing decision time
What makes you eligible for Social Security Disability or SSI?
What Conditions Qualify For Social Security Disability?

Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions and in these subsections:

Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits | FAQ on Disability Claim Representation | Info about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | FAQ on Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The SSD SSI Decision Process and what gets taken into consideration | Disability hearings before Judges | Medical exams for disability claims | Applying for Disability in various states | Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers | Applying for Disability in North Carolina | Recent articles and answers to questions about SSD and SSI

These pages provide answers to basic questions about pursuing disability benefits

What Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?
Disability for a mental condition
Tips for Filing for disability
Financial Help Filing For Disability
Checklist for filing for disability, SSI or SSD
Qualifying for disability benefits, how to qualify for SSD or SSI
Filing a disability application: the steps
Disability award notice, how long it takes to get benefits
How to Apply for Disability - Where do I go?
What makes you eligible to get disability?
How to check my disability claim status?
Can a disability attorney speed up a disability case?
SSI disability Award Letter
How long to get approved for disability?
How to apply for disability benefits
How long does disability back pay take?
What are qualifications for getting disability?
What medical conditions can you file disability for?
Disability Lawyer help questions
Social Security Attorneys, Disability Representatives