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How to improve the chances of winning a North Carolina disability hearing
At the first two levels of the system, the disability application and the reconsideration appeal, disability examiners do not have a reputation for giving great consideration to the opinion expressed by your treating physician, which is simply defined as a physician that has a history of providing treatment to you and, therefore, is knowledgeable about your condition and limitations.
However, at the disability hearing level, things change substantially. Administrative law judges are bound by federal regulations to give consideration to the opinion of your treating physician as long as that opinion is in accordance with the information provided in their own medical records.
And even in situations where the opinion they express deviates from the information in the medical records, Judges must still give some consideration to the physician's medical opinion.
But, most importantly, the opinion of the claimant's treating physician can sometimes be granted what SSA refers to as "controlling weight" on a case. And this can amount essentially to winning your case.
Without a doubt, a qualified statement from the claimant's Treating physician can improve the chances of winning a North Carolina disability hearing and win the claimant their disability benefits.
How is the statement obtained? There are numerous instances in which a claimant has provided a hand written statement from their doctor that simply states the equivalent of "my patient is disabled and not able to go back to work".
This, of course, is not what Social Security is looking for. As we have stated previously, Social Security needs to have evidence of functional limitations, either physical or mental, or both, that indicate that the claimant no longer has the ability to engage in work activity that earns them a substantial gainful income.
It is for this reason that a disability lawyer or non-attorney representative in North Carolina will typically, for the purposes of a disability hearing, obtain a statement from a physician on something referred to as a "medical source statement".
The medical source statement is basically the same thing as an RFC, or residual functional capacity, statement, which is used by a disability examiner most often to deny a case. At a hearing, of course, the statement is used to explain exactly why the physician feels that the claimant cannot be expected to return to work activity.
The statement does this by allowing the physician to indicate in great detail all the things the claimant is no longer capable of doing with regard to their physical and mental capabilities.
Very often, the medical source statement will resemble some type of check off list which will allow the physician to indicate what level of strength the claimant has, their range of motion in various joints, how long they can sit, stand, or walk, any reduction in their ability to see, hear, or smell, their ability to navigate even and uneven surfaces, tolerate heights, understand and remember instructions, learn new tasks, interact with coworkers and supervisors...and the list goes on.
Return to: Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions
Filing for NC disability benefits
Applying for Disability in North Carolina - How to apply, qualify, and meet filing requirements
Applying for NC disability benefits
More about filing for disability benefits in North Carolina
How to claim disability benefits in North Carolina
What happens on a disability application in North Carolina?
How long will it take to receive NC disability benefits if your application is approved?
Basic questions about disability benefits in North Carolina
How much can you receive in disability backpay in North Carolina?
How far back do you get disability benefits in North Carolina?
Can You Work and Collect Social Security Disability in North Carolina?
How to Get the Status on Your Social Security Disability Claim in North Carolina
How do I get help to win my disability claim in North Carolina?
The disability process in North Carolina
What condition or conditions qualifies for disability in North Carolina?
How long does it take to get through the disability system in North Carolina?
Is it hard to get disability benefits in North Carolina?
What are my chances of being approved for disability benefits in North Carolina?
How long does it take to receive North Carolina disability benefits after you are approved?
Disability determination services in North Carolina
Disability decisions in North Carolina
How long does it take for the disability decision in North Carolina?
How does the North Carolina Social Security disability determination process work?
Getting disability benefits in North Carolina
Getting denied for disability in North Carolina and filing appeals
What does getting disability benefits in North Carolina involve?
How to get on disability in North Carolina
NC Disability requirements and qualifications
Will I Qualify For Disability Benefits in North Carolina?
What is the criteria for disability benefits in North Carolina?
What are the disability qualifications in North Carolina?
Proving the requirements for disability in North Carolina
How do you meet the Disability qualifications in North Carolina?
SSI and Social Security Disability requirements in North Carolina
How do I Know If I Qualify For Disability in North Carolina?
Winning Disability benefits in NC
How do I win disability benefits in North Carolina?
Improving your chances of getting disability in North Carolina
How to improve the chances of winning a North Carolina disability hearing
Will an attorney or representative help me win North Carolina disability benefits?
Winning disability benefits in North Carolina
Mental Disability benefits in NC
Receiving disability for a mental condition in North Carolina
How do you receive benefits for a mental disability in North Carolina?
Getting approved for mental disability benefits in North Carolina
Disability awards and award notices in North Carolina
Getting a Social Security disability award in North Carolina
The Social Security disability award notice process in North Carolina
What affects how much time it takes to get a disability award in North Carolina?
Disability representation in North Carolina
Should I get a disability representative or lawyer in North Carolina?
Who can provide disability representation in North Carolina?
Hiring a Qualified Disability Lawyer in North Carolina
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Denied for disability in North Carolina, should I get an attorney or representative?
Disability attorney fees in NC - paying your lawyer or representative
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Do you pay your disability lawyer in North Carolina or does Social Security pay the fee?
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NC disability hearings
What kind of decision will you get at a disability hearing in North Carolina?
NC disability hearing - how long for a decision?
Do you have to go to a Social Security hearing in North Carolina to get approved for disability?
The disability hearing in North Carolina- things to keep in mind
How do you prepare for a disability hearing in North Carolina?