Doctors are regularly asked to give their opinion or provide specific information about the impairments of their patients, especially as it pertains to Social Security disability claims. However, some may wonder why it is important for treating doctors to share such information about their patients with the Social Security Administration. The fact is that treating physicians are the people who are most able to give a thorough evaluation of a claimant's medical conditions.
It is important to note that the Social Security Administration places great weight on the treating physician's prognosis and opinions when they are given on a claimant's behalf.
Claimants may also wonder about the extent of or the amount of information that the Social Security Administration will need from the treating physician. In this regard, the Social Security Administration notes that all treating physicians may be asked anything about their patient's conditions, and to include the nature, extent, and duration of those conditions. There also may be an inquiry into the doctor's observations and opinions with regard to the client's ability to function in general, the side effects of any treatments, and the length of time that such impairments are expected to last.
Additionally, a treating physician may be asked about the effects of the patient's impairments on his or her ability to function in a continuous way when doing job-related activities and when performing those activities that are related to day-to-day living. Such opinions will assist the adjudicators in reaching correct conclusions about the severity of the claimant's impairments and the patient's remaining ability to do various types of work.