As the world of healthcare has changed, patients are treated by varying medical sources. These sources may include various forms of nurses and practitioners. Social Security reviews opinions from your treating sources and it is important that your treating sources support you in your claim for disability.
Social Security has rules for establishing which providers are considered to be acceptable medical sources (AMS). The following are AMS:
- Licensed physicians (medical or osteopathic doctors)
- Licensed or certified psychologists at the independent practice level.
- School psychologists, or other licensed or certified individuals with other titles who perform the same function as a school psychologist in a school setting, are AMS for impairments of intellectual disability, learning disabilities, and borderline intellectual functioning only.
- Licensed optometrists for impairments of visual disorders, or measurement of visual acuity and visual fields only, depending on the scope of practice in the State in which the optometrist practices.
- Licensed podiatrists for impairments of the foot, or foot and ankle only, depending on whether the State in which the podiatrist practices permit the practice of podiatry on the foot only, or the foot and ankle.
- Qualified speech-language pathologists (SLPs) for speech or language impairments only.
In claims with a filing date on or after March 27, 2017, the following are also considered to be AMS: licensed physician assistants for impairments within the licensed scope of practice only; Licensed audiologists for impairments of hearing loss, auditory processing disorders, and balance disorders within the licensed scope of practice only; Licensed Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN), also known in some States as Advanced Practice Nurse (APN), and Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (ARNP) for impairments within his or her licensed scope of practice. There are four types of APRNs with a handful of State variations: Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM); Nurse Practitioner (NP); Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA); and Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS).
If objective medical evidence from an AMS already establishes the existence of your medically determinable impairments then a non AMS is allowed to document the severity of the impairment and its effect on your functioning.
There is a lot that goes into filing a claim, but a very important factor is the support of your treating sources, no matter who they may be. Let us at Gardberg and Kemmerly determine the appropriate source of your opinions. If you have filed for Social Security disability benefits, please call one of the experienced disability representatives at Gardberg & Kemmerly, P.C. today at 251-343-1111 for a free consultation. Gardberg & Kemmerly specialize in helping the injured and disabled.