A treating physician is a medical expert that works directly with a patient. He or she knows the most information about the patient’s symptoms, functionality level and the length of time that his or her symptoms may persist.
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The Social Security Administration may request that the patient’s treating physician submit paperwork that describes that person’s medical condition consistently. The goal of the SSA in collecting this information is to try to develop an opinion as quickly as possible. They would like to obtain enough information from the treating physician to make a decision on the case. The SSA decides a person’s disability status by the severity of the illness. The treating physician is one of the few people who can express such severity.
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Why Does a Patient Need a Treating Doctor’s Opinion?
A patient needs a treating doctor’s opinion because he or she may have a unique perspective to offer that the claims examiner, the patient, and the consultative examiner cannot offer. One piece of information may complete a complex investigation. Many times, a physician’s opinion will give the SSA what it needs to finalize a decision that has held up the process for a long time.