Gardberg & Kemmerly, P.C. Attorneys at Law

Social Security New Rules on How Evidence is Weighed

Social Security New Rules on How Evidence is Weighed

On January 18, 2017, the Social Security Administration revised their regulations regarding the evidentiary standard used by the Administrative Law Judges (ALJ) to determine eligibility for disability benefits. These new regulations became effective May 27, 2017.

When an ALJ is determining disability in a Social Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) case, they must determine whether the individual has a total disability as defined by the SSA regulations. The Social Security Administration does not award benefits for partial disability or short-term disability.

The new regulations affect the weight that an ALJ gives to the evidence provided at the hearing. Under the previous rule, the ALJ had to give deference to a Claimant's treating physician over any doctors the SSA sent the Claimant to or any doctors they had review the record, provided that the treating physician's opinion was well-supported by evidence. Under the new regulations, the ALJ will no longer have to defer to the treating physician or take into account the Claimant's statement regarding their symptoms. The ALJ is also no longer required to explain how they considered evidence from non-medical sources, which usually includes statements from family members, employers, or social welfare agencies.

This new regulation could create more difficulty in being approved for SSI or SSDI benefits. It would be helpful to speak with an attorney to see if the new regulation could affect your case.

For more information on Social Security disability benefits, contact an experienced attorney at Gardberg & Kemmerly, P.C. today at 251-343-1111 for a free case evaluation. Gardberg & Kemmerly, P.C. represents Social Security disability claimants in Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, and Louisiana at all levels of the disability process from initial application to appeals to Federal Court. Gardberg & Kemmerly, P.C. has been helping Social Security claimants with their disability claims for over 50 years.

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